Washington D.C. – Expectations are very low for anything productive to come out of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — Committee Chairman, subpoena dodger, and MAGA word salad king — is expected to use the occasion to air grievances of top Republican industry donors and promote MAGA strawman arguments de jour that have no relevance to the struggles of everyday Americans, like undefined “wokeness.”
Jim Jordan is misusing his power in the MAGA House majority to smear the FTC Chair for daring to crack down on deceptive industry practices, junk fees, and monopolization that leaves everyday Americans with fewer dollars in their pocket and less choice,” said Liz Zelnick, Accountable.Us’ Director of Economic Security And Corporate Power.
“The MAGA majority is once again resorting to political stunts to protect industries that coincidentally shovel money into their campaigns and to keep the Biden administration from helping more Americans get ahead,” Zelnick continued. “Will Chairman Jordan explain how the FTC’s efforts to save families money and headaches amounts to “politicized rulemakings” — or will he just carry on with his usual industry-sponsored political grandstanding?”
Industry Money The Real Motive Behind This Hearing: The hearing billed partly as an examination of the FTC’s “politicized rulemakings” will likely include Republican criticism of commonsense and popular FTC actions designed to protect average Americans from industry deception and getting ripped off – including:
1) The FTC’s proposed rule banning junk fees and deceptive advertising tactics used by vehicle dealers. An Accountable.US review found that since the rule was introduced, the National Auto Dealers Association have donated nearly $65,000 To House Judiciary Republicans while spending over $4.5 million while lobbying the federal government against the rule. Demonstrating themselves that the predatory practice is indefensible, the auto dealer trade group has grasped at straws with arguments that the FTC rulemaking “would materially change the sales process that millions of customers are accustomed to.”
2) The FTC’s anti-monopolization effort to block the merger between Microsoft and gaming studio Activision Blizzard in the consumer interest. An Accountable.US review found that since Microsoft announced its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft spent over $10 million while lobbying to influence Congress and regulators and have donated $118,000 to House Judiciary Republicans over their careers. Watchdog Revolving Door Project also found the federal judge who was overseeing the FTC antitrust action has a son who works for Microsoft.
3) The FTCs’s ‘Click To Cancel’ proposed rule that would require companies like Amazon make it easier for consumers to cancel a subscription. The Federal Trade Commission recently filed a complaint calling out Amazon’s illegal use of “‘manipulative, coercive, or deceptive’ designs to enroll shoppers into auto-renewing Prime subscriptions.” Amazon gave nearly half a million dollars to House Republicans during the 2022 election cycle.