Congressional Democrats Gather on Capitol Hill to Call For Action on Corporate Price Gouging
Sens. Merkley, Warren, Booker, Whitehouse and Rep. Schakowsky Demand Republicans Hold Corporations Accountable
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky joined Unrig Our Economy and other advocates on Capitol Hill to discuss their plans to fight inflation and crack down on corporate consolidation and price gouging.
During the press conference, leaders in the Senate and House discussed a number of pieces of important legislation that would stop wealthy corporations from consolidating their market power and using the economic disruptions of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the specter of inflation as excuses to raise prices, pad their profits, and reward their CEOs and shareholders. The bills discussed include the Price Gouging Prevention Act of 2022, the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act, the Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act, the Ending Corporate Greed Act, and the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act.
This press conference follows the release of the June Consumer Price Index (CPI) report which showed that inflation hit a 40-year high in June. As Republicans continue to show their allegiance to Big Oil and stand by as wealthy corporations use global disruptions as an excuse to increase prices, these lawmakers are taking a stand to support the millions of people impacted by inflation and corporate greed.
Watch the full event here.
Key quotes from speakers:
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR): “While big corporations are bringing in record profits, working Americans are having to pay more for the things they need, such as gas, prescription drugs, basic groceries, and rent. It is past time to stop Big Oil, Big Pharma, and other large corporations from taking advantage of hard-working Americans. Let’s put people over profits and pass legislation that will stop companies from taking advantage of global crises to jack up prices on American families.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “Families are feeling the pinch at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and in their rent checks. We need to do everything in our power to relieve that pain. Today, we are focused on price gouging, and that is why Senators Merkley, Booker, Whitehouse, and Congresswoman Schakowsky and I have introduced bills to promote competition and to fight corporate price gouging.”
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ): “Since the last recession, food prices have risen nearly three times faster than typical. Companies send their obscene, pirated profits to shareholders and investors rather than do the things that we would want them to do: raise wages or benefits for workers, or lower prices, which competition would do for consumers.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): “Gas prices are the most visible and probably, for most families, the most painful part of the inflation experience. This is not the market at work. This is cartel pricing. Every single day, Big Oil has a choice to make between pricing its product based on international cartel prices versus pricing its product based on the market-based price of production. And every day, they choose the cartel price.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): “We held a hearing where we talked about the oil companies, and we talked about how, in the first quarter of this year, they tripled the prices of their gasoline. Why? They told their shareholders: because they want to increase dividends. They want to increase buybacks. They want to increase CEO salaries. They did all of that with the money gouged out of the pockets of consumers.”
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