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House holds stacked hearing to attack retirement savings rule proposal | Ed Mierzwinski

The House Financial Services Committee is holding a typically stacked hearing -- one consumer-side witness against four Wall Street-backed lobbyists  -- to attack the important retirement savings rule proposed by the Department of Labor. The rule simply requires retirement advisors to put the customer's needs  -- not their own compensation -- first.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Court Reinstates Case Against Bank That Aided Senior Citizen Fraud | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that had denied class action status to victims of a scheme targeting senior citizens who were suing Zions Bank and its payment processor affiliates for aiding the fraudsters. U.S. regulators led by the Department of Justice have been fighting this and similar schemes, yet powerful special interests have managed to create a false narrative in Washington, DC that has been picked up by opponents of consumer protection laws. They falsely claim that the government's target is "legitimate" payday lenders and gun dealers. Wrong, the target is financial crimes against consumers, many consumers.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

IRS Admits Data Breach Worse Than Thought, Will Congress Do Wrong Thing Anyway? | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the IRS has admitted that thieves accessed the personal information -- enough to allow them to take your tax refund -- of an additional 220,000 taxpayers, on top of the 114,000 reported in May. Meanwhile, we remain  concerned that Congress will use continued publicity about the Target breach and other breaches as an excuse to pass dangerous data security legislation. Dangerous? Yes, because it would only protect against limited financial identity theft harms, but eliminate stronger state protections against the harms posed by the IRS breach, the health insurance breaches and the OPM breach.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

House To Vote On Godzilla-Sized Rule Blocker, As Financial Committee Considers Smaller Rollbacks | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED: REINS Approved, near party line vote. Today, the House Financial Services Committee takes up a package of smaller rollback bills, many of which are opposed by Americans for Financial Reform and the PIRGs. Meanwhile, the House will bring up the Godzilla of all anti-health and safety bills, the REINS Act. Fortunately, the President has promised a veto.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Over 7,000 Comments Submitted to Department of Labor

Every year, over $17 billion is lost from retirement savings to fees and charges, according to the Council of Economic Advisors. Today, we submitted over 7,000 PIRG member comments urging the U.S. Department of Labor to finalize a strong rule requiring retirement advisors to put the interests of their customers first. We also submitted a detailed expert comment of our own in the important "conflicted advice" rulemaking.

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News Release | NJPIRG | Safe Energy

Court Recognizes Spent Fuel Safety Threat

“We’re pleased the Court recognized that nuclear waste storage poses a significant health and safety threat and the NRC’s storage rules demand further scrutiny.”

"Spent fuel storage is a very real problem for New Jerseyans and Governor Christie was right to challenge the NRC."

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News Release | NJPIRG | Consumer Protection

Testimony to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Supporting ACR146

The Division of Consumer Affairs adopted a waiver under Governor Christie's Executive Order No. 2 that would undermine all consumer protections.

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News Release | NJPIRG Law & Policy Center | Financial Reform, Higher Ed

Banks Skim Millions In Fees From Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections, and few options. Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

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News Release | NJPIRG | Safe Energy

NJPIRG Statement on the Resignation of NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko

“We are deeply concerned by Chairman Gregory Jaczko’s resignation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

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News Release | NJPIRG | Health Care

Governor's Veto Doesn't Undo Need for Health Reform

“Today Gov. Christie brought health reform screeching to a halt in New Jersey.”

“The Governor’s veto doesn’t undo the need for health reform in New Jersey. The Supreme Court decision won’t change the fact that 1.3 million people are uninsured and thousands more are struggling to keep their families covered.”

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