Joe Biden

Readout of White House State Legislators Convening on Junk Fees

April 24, 2024

Today, the White House convened state legislative leaders to discuss state-level actions to address junk fees, building on the Biden-Harris Administration's unprecedented efforts to crack down on junk fees across the economy to lower costs for Americans. National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard, Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and state legislators from across the country participated.

President Biden is committed to taking on hidden junk fees that companies sneak onto customer bills, and which the Council of Economic Advisers estimates amount to more than $90 billion every year. These fees occur across industries, from apartment rentals to concert tickets to health insurance. Since the first White House State Convening on Combatting Junk Fees last March, the Administration has taken landmark actions to increase transparency and eliminate these fees, including:

  • The CFPB finalized a rule capping credit card late fees at $8, saving the 45 million Americans who are charged these fees an average of $220 per year and $10 billion overall. In January 2024, the agency proposed rules that would bring overdraft fees down to as low as $3 and prohibit non-sufficient funds fees on transactions declined right at the swipe, tap, or click. These actions build upon more than $6.1 billion in annual savings in reduced and eliminated overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees as a result of the CFPB's work. Since the CFPB heightened its supervisory attention on overdraft and NSF fees in 2022, financial institutions have agreed to refund over $240 million to consumers
  • The FTC proposed a rule that would prohibit companies from charging hidden and misleading fees and require that they display the full-price up front, and finalized a rule to ban hidden junk fees and bait-and-switch fees in car buying.
  • Today, the Department of Transportation finalized rules that would require airlines to clearly disclose baggage fees, change fees, and cancellation fees up front, and require airlines to refund for flight cancellations or significant delays.
  • The Federal Communication Commission finalized a rule requiring that cable and satellite TV providers provide consumers with the "all-in" price for video programming services. In the same month, the agency proposed a rule that would ban bulk billing arrangements by internet, cable, and satellite service providers. In addition, the FCC has proposed rules to ban early termination fees for cable and TV satellite provides, and as of this month, large internet providers are required to display labels at the point of sale for internet services that show the prices, fees, speeds, and other critical information under a new FCC rulemaking, so that consumers know what they are paying for up front.
  • Last month, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury finalized rules to combat "junk health insurance" plans that deceive Americans into believing they have comprehensive coverage while leaving them on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills. Under the new rules, health insurance companies now have to provide consumers with a clear disclaimer explaining the limits of the services they cover and how much they cover.

Actions taken by the Administration will save Americans over $20 billion per year on junk fees, according to the Council of Economic Advisers. While the President is committed to using every tool at his disposal to combat unfair and deceptive pricing, he also believes that state-level actions are an essential part of this mission. This legislative year, at least 12 states introduced legislation to curb junk fees and during the convening state leaders shared steps they are taking to address junk fees in their home states. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has introduced sweeping price transparency legislation this session and called on the General Assembly to bring it to a vote last month. Legislators in Arizona, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois have introduced far-reaching legislation to combat hidden and misleading fees, and many discussed progress in advancing legislation and the strong support from constituents to tackle these issues. These bills combat junk fees across multiple industries, protecting consumers in every corner of the economy. White House officials thanked the state leaders for their work and ongoing partnership on behalf of American families.

The White House State Legislative Convening on Combatting Junk Fees can be viewed here.

The following state elected officials delivered remarks as part of the convening:

  • Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
  • New York Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris|
  • Minnesota Representative Emma Greenman
  • Illinois Representative Bob Morgan
  • Arizona Representative Analise Ortiz
  • Pennsylvania Representative Nick Pisciottano

Joseph R. Biden, Readout of White House State Legislators Convening on Junk Fees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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