Biden Announces a Crackdown on Junk Fees

In his attempt to tackle surging inflation before midterm elections, Biden is forcing all government agencies to reduce “junk fees” in their areas of jurisdiction to provide a bit of relief to Americans.

Inflation is expected to play a critical role in the midterm elections on November 8.

Biden Makes Desperate Attempts to Tame Inflation

According to Biden, he is seeking to eliminate all hidden fees and add-on charges in banking services, internet and cable bills, as well as in concert tickets.

Furthermore, Biden noted Americans end up paying tens of billions of dollars of junk fees every year, which puts an unnecessary burden on them. Likewise, the president claimed junk fees contribute significantly to inflation by disturbing the budget of families.

While ending his speech, Biden added he understands Americans’ frustration with rising inflation.

Biden’s attempt to control surging inflation came less than two weeks before the high-stakes midterm elections. Most Americans are expected to make voting decisions based on the deteriorating condition of the economy.

Meanwhile, Biden also claimed gas prices are declining in America, even though they are still standing at a historic high.

Due to surging gas inflation, Biden announced the release of oil from emergency oil reserves while accusing oil companies of price gouging.

On October 20, the average national gas price dropped to $3.85, which is almost 14% higher compared to one year ago and nearly 60% more than January 2021, when Biden took over the presidency. 

Banking Junk Fees Eliminated

Biden’s comments about junk fees came after the recent announcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to which surprise overdraft fees and depositor fees are in violation of the law.

Rohit Chopra, the CFPB director, noted Americans are always ready to pay legitimate fees, but they get worried when they are forced to pay unexpected money in various capacities.

The surprise overdraft fees are a financial penalty on consumers who submit a bounced check to the banks. Usually, banks charge small fees when people submit a bounced check.

Critics of these fees suggest not all people are aware their checks will bounce, not to mention some people also become the victim of bounced checks in financial fraud; so they should not be punished further.

A surprise overdraft fee is also usually applicable when consumers unknowingly make a banking withdrawal which is greater than the available balance. Thus, CFPB noted both of these fees are unjustifiable, which urged Biden to announce the removal of junk fees across the board.

As per the definition of the Federal Trade Commission, junk fees are those charges that consumers have to pay for services with no or little value.

It remains to be seen what impact this has on the November midterms.

This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.