Sen. Baldwin touts bill to combat price gouging

Senator Tammy Baldwin visits Mid-State Technical College in Stevens Point
Senator Tammy Baldwin visits Mid-State Technical College in Stevens Point(WSAW)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 1:59 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Senator Tammy Baldwin, (D) Wisconsin, is introducing a bill to combat price gouging during the pandemic.

The bill, called the Price Gouging Prevention Act of 2022, would invest in oversight to the tune of $1B in the Federal Trade Commission. That’s the federal agency tasked with investigating claims of price gouging.

Sen. Baldwin says big companies have been using recent events to unfairly raise prices on consumers.

“You have these shocks to the system you often see a price spike but they’re not necessarily justified,” Sen. Baldwin said. “Sometimes it is simply price gouging as we’re seeing as some of these big companies release their quarterly profit statements.”

The bill singles out suppliers who raise prices and disrupt supply chains. Those disruptions, Sen. Baldwin says, can squeeze small business owners stuck between consumers and suppliers.

Sen. Baldwin also wants to see more transparency from America’s largest companies, especially during public emergencies like the pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine. Recent oil price surges are also covered in the current proposal.

“So there was no real shortage and yet we saw prices at the pump go up dramatically, very dramatically,” Baldwin said. “When you see that, understand there’s a big shock to the system, but that in my mind is almost war profiteering if you will.”

The bill is supported by a wide range of Democrats in both the House and Senate.

So far no Republicans have announced support for the proposal.

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