FTC “Junk Fee” Proposal Hearing Features NTUF Expert Testimony


President Joe Biden’s administration has developed an obsessive fixation with so-called “junk fees” - service charges imposed by private companies that the Biden Administration deems to be unfair. The Federal Trade Commission held a hearing this week on its proposed junk fee rule, which the National Taxpayers Union Foundation had submitted comments for. The proposed rule is overbroad and conflicts with how fees are already legislated and regulated at both the national and state level. NTUF Executive Vice President Joe Bishop-Henchman testified in front of the commission this week with NTUF’s comments.

As Bishop-Henchman said,

The purported application of the Proposed Regulation is overbroad. Instead of applying the Proposed Regulation to specific industries, it adopts an one-size-fits-all mentality. Such an approach is not only unnecessary, but will lead to widespread economic consequences.

The Proposed Regulation’s definition of “Total Price,” when applied, is not practical for modern-day businesses. Under the Proposed Regulations, “Total Price” is the “maximum total of all fees or charges a consumer may pay for a good or service and any mandatory Ancillary Good or Service” but does not include “Shipping Charges and Government Charges.”... regulations should contemplate the drastic effects they would have on companies before coming into effect. We believe the recommendations we have offered will serve the goal of alleviating any ambiguity in the statute while protecting taxpayers.

The Biden Administration’s efforts might be more positively perceived if they genuinely aimed to assist Americans grappling with increasing expenses as Americans are still feeling the repercussions of unprecedented levels of inflation. However, the FTC’s latest proposal appears to be another instance of misguided policies. President Biden and his supporters are attempting to deflect responsibility for inflation onto private companies while trying to score cheap political points.

If you’d like to discuss the Biden Administration’s “junk fees” proposal with NTUF’s Joe Bishop-Henchman or another policy expert, please contact NTUF Vice President of Communications Kevin Glass at 703-299-8670 or at kglass@ntu.org.