Sen. Warren Bill Would Force Companies to Explain Price Increases

Sen. Warren Bill Would Force Companies to Explain Price Increases senator elizabeth warren speaks during a hearing on captiol hill  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (Tom Williams/AP)

By Eric Mack | Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:41 PM

While President Joe Biden blames Vladimir Putin and Republicans for his 8.3% inflation, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is seeking to empower the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to hunt for fault with businesses for the raising prices.

Warren has a draft legislation with seven other senators to force companies to explain the causes for their increased prices and give federal regulators the authority to go after businesses for the increased costs.

"Prices are rising, and consumers are paying more, while giant corporations are using inflation as a cover to expand their profits," Warren wrote in a statement. "This bill would crack down on corporate price gouging by setting tougher rules of the road and enhancing enforcement, and I'm going to fight to get this done."

Former President Donald Trump had warned of massive inflation under Biden, and Republicans have long argued regulations, cutting U.S. energy production under the guise of environmental concerns, massive spending, and social programs paying people not to work – like truckers and those in the shipping industry – would stifle supply chains and lead to massive price increases.

But Warren, famously a hawk breaking down profits from successful corporations, is reportedly drafting legislation that would require companies to report their price rationale quarterly. Also, the bill would emphasize price gouging at any step in the stifled supply chains is illegal, according to the report.

The industries impacted would be wide-ranging from oil companies to food producers, two of the hardest-hit portions of economic inflation under Biden.

With Democrats' polling numbers shaky going into November's midterm elections, Democrats are desperate to spin away retaliation against their party's candidates for the policies that have driven up costs on Americans.

The bill remains a long shot, though, because getting 10 Republicans on board to reach 60 votes in the 50-50 Senate is unlikely.

The Biden administration claimed a year ago inflation was "transitory" and temporary to nearly unilateral scorn from Republicans. Then, recently Biden suggested "no one" saw inflation this bad coming.

Republicans scoffed at that revisionist history, putting blame on Biden and his administration's policies before the midterm elections.

Included in the bill is massive spending to fund the FTC to conduct its hunt to blame businesses for rising costs: to the tune of $1 billion.

Republicans have long argued massive spending increasing the federal deficit is the root cause of inflation. Biden has argued his massive spending plans can stimulate the economy to increase production and income to cover the cost on taxpayers.

Original Article