Senate Approves Rockefeller-Hutchison Amendment to Preserve FTC's Core Consumer Protection

May 17, 2010

Consumer Protection 1WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate today approved an amendment sponsored by Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ranking Member on the Committee, to preserve the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) core consumer protection functions. The Rockefeller-Hutchison amendment, cosponsored by Senators Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) and Mark Pryor (D-AR), also promotes consumer protection by ensuring that there are no gaps in regulation and enforcement.

“For nearly 100 years, the FTC has been on the forefront of protecting American consumers from unfair and deceptive practices. Its enforcers have invaluable experience cracking down on bad actors who try to fleece Americans out of their hard-earned money,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “This amendment will preserve the FTC’s existing authority, and ensure that there are no gaps in consumer protection. The amendment will require the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to work together to protect consumers while avoiding duplicate regulators.”

“This amendment will preserve the core consumer protection functions of the Federal Trade Commission,” said Senator Hutchison. “It will also ensure there are no gaps in the enforcement of consumer protection laws, and that experienced enforcers remain on the job. The amendment requires the FTC to coordinate with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help keep consumers safe from predatory financial service providers without duplicating regulations or enforcement activities.”

The Rockefeller-Hutchison amendment would:

  • Preserve the FTC’s enforcement and rulemaking authority, except with respect to rulemaking authority under certain enumerated financial consumer laws that would transfer to the new Bureau within the Federal Reserve;
  • Enable the FTC to enforce rules promulgated by the Bureau under the new law and the Bureau to enforce rules promulgated by the FTC under the FTC Act;
  • Require the FTC and the Bureau to establish procedures by which the two agencies will coordinate their regulatory efforts to avoid duplicate regulation; and
  • Require the FTC and the Bureau to coordinate their enforcement activities to avoid duplication.
Video of Senator Rockefeller's floor statement on the amendment can be found here.