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FTC Chairman Demands Congress Repeal Due Process

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06/25/2010

Okay, so Jon Leibowitz, didn’t get his wish:

The compromise version of legislation to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations does not include expanded powers for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a victory for business groups that had lobbied against the measure.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz had pushed hard for Congress to grant the agency new authority, saying the additional powers would enhance the FTC’s ability to protect consumers and respond to financial fraud.

Business groups said the measure would have given the FTC sweeping power to govern industries and sectors that had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

Those opposing the new FTC powers included leading industry groups representing advertisers, financial-services companies, retailers and software makers.

The House-passed version of the financial bill had granted new powers to the FTC, while the Senate bill did not.

The proposal would have given the FTC broad authority to impose civil penalties and the ability to pursue companies that aid and abet unfair or deceptive trade practices. The measure also would have given the FTC independent authority to litigate civil-penalty cases in court, as well as streamlined authority to promulgate new regulations.

FTC spokeswoman Cecelia Prewett said the proposed new authorities were not included in the compromise bill. She said the bill does give the agency one new authority: enhanced oversight of car dealers.

This is just a temporary setback. Leibowitz said he won’t abandon his quest for power:

“And although we didn’t get the more effective rulemaking and other tools we sought, we are gratified that there is such strong and growing support in both chambers for the FTC and removing the laborious procedural hurdles we face.” (Italics added)

UPDATE: Just sent the following email to our esteemed chairman:

Regarding your statement reported by Dow Jones today,

“And although we didn’t get the more effective rulemaking and other tools we sought, we are gratified that there is such strong and growing support in both chambers for the FTC and removing the laborious procedural hurdles we face.”

Could you please elaborate on what precise “laborious procedural hurdles” you’re referring to? I assume you’re referring to the due process requirements of the United States Constitution.

 

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