11/21/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2023 11:57
Yesterday, The Hill published a new op-ed from Rep. Chris Deluzio outlining how Congress can lower costs for working families by tackling the corporate greed that has led to sky high prices. By strengthening antitrust enforcement and consumer protections, Congress can help small businesses and create an economy that works for every American, not just those at the top.
"The November economic report showed that inflation slowed again last month - and that's a good sign for working families this holiday season. This is an expensive time of year for a lot of folks, and too many are still struggling to make ends meet."
"It's so important that Democrats passed laws to cap the price of insulin, make internet more affordable, lower prescription drug costs, and cut energy bills for a lot of households - but Congress needs to keep focused on lowering costs for Americans. One of the biggest things we can do to help families across the country save money is also one of the most popular - stronger antitrust enforcement. But corporate politicians are standing in the way, carrying water for corporate interests, and trying to suffocate competition to raise prices on all of us."
"For too long, big corporations and their allies in government have peddled a fairy-tale theory that bigger companies are better for American families and consumers. Using their power, companies have pushed this myth that the wealth, power and control they are able to capture will result in trickle-down benefits to regular people."
"In reality, the consolidation of industry after industry across the country has instead killed small businesses and led to higher prices, worse service, and lousy working conditions. Right now, realtor broker fees are raising home prices on a generation for whom home ownership already feels out of reach, while sophisticated algorithms are hiking up their rents."
"Meanwhile, heavy consolidation in the baby formula market led to devastating and dangerous shortages across the country. From EpiPens to inhalers, the cost of life-saving drugs is being inflated by middlemen, while cheaper generics are unfairly blocked from the market. Seeing your favorite musician or sports team means paying exorbitant fees to Ticketmaster, if you can manage to get in before the bots and scalpers. Across industries, dominant corporations are exploiting their positions to make life more expensive for working families."
"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a Navy and Iraq War veteran, I care a lot about our national security. Back in 1990, there were 51 prime contractors that made our ships, missiles, rockets, planes and other products critical to our national defense. Now there are just five. This intense constriction deprives the American people of competition for key elements of our defense - and military leaders tell me that current contractors often deliver poor-quality products, behind schedule, at too-high costs."
"The good news is that we can fight back against these monopolies, and there is a groundswell in Washington and across the country to do so. The Federal Trade Commission is protecting Americans from deceptive prices and restrictive contracts that prevent workers from seeking better wages and working conditions. They've put Amazon on notice for raising prices across our economy, while eroding labor standards for warehouse and delivery workers. The Department of Justice is taking on Big Tech monopolies and forcing airlines to provide better service and lower airfares."
"I believe in an economy that rewards hard work, not just wealth. The majority of my Democratic colleagues agree and are working to support these important efforts, but for the most part, House Republicans seem content to let huge corporations rip off working families. Just last week, they proposed amendments to a federal spending bill that would gut the government's ability to ban deceptive junk fees. Another amendment would have gutted the government's ability to review airline mergers. Republicans proposed a provision specifically to allow auto dealers to cheat customers with new undisclosed fees. They tried to block rules that prevent private equity financiers from consolidating the health care industry."
"Republicans are doling out gifts to big business lobbyists and their corporate bosses at the expense of working Americans. And they're betting that you won't notice how out of touch they are. High prices and inflation are top of mind for my constituents, regardless of political party. People understand that the interests of financiers and executives are not aligned with the needs of working people."
"That's why labor unions are more popular than ever, winning contracts that are reshaping the auto, film, health care, trucking and retail industries. Workers are fighting for more than just a fair wage, they're fighting for dignity in the workplace and beyond. In stark contrast with Republican efforts to give monopoly corporations a free pass, workers are showing how our economy can serve the needs of real people."
"Folks in Western Pennsylvania, whom I am proud to represent in Congress, know what it's like to get the short end of the stick when corporations seek profit over all else. We made the steel that built America, only to get stripped for parts by the forces of globalization - forced to watch good jobs and entire industries get shipped overseas."
"We won't buy the sham argument that these corporate shills are peddling, and the rest of America shouldn't either. The solution is clear: We need to strengthen antitrust enforcement and consumer protection - it's popular, it will lower costs, and it's good for small businesses."
"First, we have to shine some light on actions such as what happened last week in the House, or else corporate stooges will keep doing the bidding of their overlords and continue trying to roll back antitrust laws and consumer protections. The sooner we kill off the tired farce that bigger companies and less competition does anything but run over consumers, kill small businesses, and make inflation worse, the sooner we will see prices go down - and that is the best possible holiday gift Congress can give."