PROTECTING NEW MEXICANS FROM CORPORATE GREED
Now more than ever, the pandemic has left us vulnerable to corporate exploitation. We can’t be bought by Facebook data centers that only employee a few folks when the dust has settled. We can’t let big business be the only place to buy goods when the world opens again. I have fought against corporate greed for my entire career. Standing up for New Mexicans is crucial to ensuring corporate America doesn’t roll over us and make the 1% richer.
Curtail aggressive debt collection: We need to protect New Mexican’s facing debt, not abuse them. I will fight to stop abusive collectors and strengthen the FDCPA by increasing penalties, closing loopholes, stopping the collection of zombie debt, and requiring collectors to have accurate information.
Cancel or reduce student loan debt: Millions of Americans are facing unaffordable student loan debt. Falling behind on student loans should not threaten the financial security of borrowers and their families, especially when recent graduates are unable to enter the workforce because of the pandemic. Debt forgiveness for those entering careers in public service, teaching or the health care field would benefit all of us.
Stop price gouging and protect consumers: Necessary medical supplies like masks and hand sanitizers should not be an opportunity for corporations to make record profits. Lifesaving medications should never be allowed to skyrocket in price. Right now, price gouging is managed on a state level but only 36 states have laws to protect consumers from price gouging greed. We need to protect consumers from a federal level. I support both the Price Gouging Prevention Act (H.R. 6472) and the Stop Price Gouging Act S.378. These acts would make it unlawful to sell or offer consumer goods or services during a public health emergency with prices that unconscionably excessive or by increasing prices unreasonably. These efforts would also establish an excise tax on certain prescription drugs that have been subject to a price spike and requires Big Pharma to submit data regarding drug prices to the Government Accountability Office. The intent is to discourage rapid increases in drug prices.
Cap Payday loans: The majority of folks who take out payday loans use them for regular recurring expenses such as utility bills and rent payments. These loans, on average, force hard-working people to pay an annual percentage interest rate of 396%. That means that each year, people struggling to pay for water and heat end up paying $9 Billion in loan fees. How can we ever rebuild our economy when payday loan companies are robbing our working class or a chance to survive? I support the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (H.R. 5050) that caps interest rates at 36% for most consumer loans protecting military veterans from predatory practices and will now include consumers in general.