MontPIRG Latest Blog Posts

How limitations in testing hurt our ability to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, a blog from Laura Deehan, CALPIRG Public Health Advocate.

 | by
Matt Wellington
Director, Public Health Campaigns

Without adequate testing for the novel coronavirus, health professionals are in the dark. We are calling on Adm. Brett Giroir, who is the Assistant Secretary for Health and the federal point person for COVID-19 testing response, to immediately adopt and follow through on a plan to make sure that everyone who needs a test, gets a test. 

 | by
Danielle Melgar
Make It Toxic Free Campaign, Advocate

As people in my city and across the United States adapt to school and business closures and practice social distancing, we’re all looking for opportunities to do some good for our communities. So I asked my colleagues at U.S. PIRG to help me come up with a list of ideas, especially for kids who are out of school.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The CFPB's first director, Rich Cordray, has published a book, "Watchdog," explaining efforts to set up and run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

On Wednesday, the full U.S. House is expected to vote on a credit reporting reform package, HR 3621, the Comprehensive CREDIT Act. Meanwhile, a PIRG analysis finds that half of all complaints to the CFPB in 2019 concerned credit reporting and the most-complained about companies, in the entire database, were the so-called  Big 3 credit bureaus.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, which represents almost 6 million member families across the United States, voted decisively yesterday to endorse their members’ ability to fix their equipment when it breaks. In doing so, they set clear guidelines on what kind of policy they think will solve the problem.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In support of a report by colleagues from the Norwegian Consumer Council on whether the data sharing and privacy practices of a number of dating and other smartphone apps were in compliance with European privacy rules (GDPR) or the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), U.S. PIRG and other leading groups sent joint letters to key policymakers, including the California, Oregon and TexaS Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission and all members of the U.S. House and Senate. 

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger appointed four lawyers and professors to a "Taskforce on Federal Consumer Law." To my knowledge, none have worked for consumer protection organizations yet all have worked as industry consultants or been aligned with industry views, although all have previous government experience. I am aware of several distinguished professors with CFPB experience who were rejected. Incredibly, the announcement of this better-described "Task Farce" claimed inspiration from a distinguished bi-partisan commission established by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1968." 

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week, Sens. Jack Reed (RI) and Chris Van Hollen (MD) introduced legislation to finally give consumers real control over our own credit reports. The Consumer Credit Control Act would change what Sen. Reed appropriately calls our “backwards” credit reporting system by helping to solve two problems. The Consumer Credit Control Act is a win-win for consumers. It improves their privacy and saves them money.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger will deliver the statutory “Semi-Annual Report of the CFPB” to the House Financial Services (10/16) and Senate Banking (10/17) Committees next week. Here are some helpful questions for committee members to ask.