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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

IRS Admits Data Breach Worse Than Thought, Will Congress Do Wrong Thing Anyway? | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the IRS has admitted that thieves accessed the personal information -- enough to allow them to take your tax refund -- of an additional 220,000 taxpayers, on top of the 114,000 reported in May. Meanwhile, we remain  concerned that Congress will use continued publicity about the Target breach and other breaches as an excuse to pass dangerous data security legislation. Dangerous? Yes, because it would only protect against limited financial identity theft harms, but eliminate stronger state protections against the harms posed by the IRS breach, the health insurance breaches and the OPM breach.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

House To Vote On Godzilla-Sized Rule Blocker, As Financial Committee Considers Smaller Rollbacks | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED: REINS Approved, near party line vote. Today, the House Financial Services Committee takes up a package of smaller rollback bills, many of which are opposed by Americans for Financial Reform and the PIRGs. Meanwhile, the House will bring up the Godzilla of all anti-health and safety bills, the REINS Act. Fortunately, the President has promised a veto.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

The CFPB is 4 years old and has a lot to show for it! | Ed Mierzwinski

Tuesday, July 21, marks four years to the day since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened its doors to protect consumers and make financial markets work. We've summarized some of the ways CFPB works for you on a new web page.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

We Commend CFPB For Adding Consumer Stories To Public Complaint Database

Yesterday, the CFPB published the first batch (7,700) of consumer narratives or stories to the Public Consumer Complaint Database it began in 2011. We've used the database to publish five reports (so far) analyzing complaint trends in markets ranging from credit cards to student loans but we have also long urged the voluntary addition of stories to the data fields. Now, consumers can learn if what happened to them happened to anyone else. Now, researchers can track which banks are more responsive to particular problems and which ignore their customers. A good resource is now an excellent resource.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

The More I Hear About OPM Data Breach, The Less I Know, Except This: It's Bad | Ed Mierzwinski

Was it 4 million, 14 million or 18 million records breached (how many times) (likely) by Chinese hackers? Whose fault was it? The USOPM director says no one's. Really? Perhaps the worst data breach ever raises lots of questions, but I haven't heard any good answers. Federal employees, their families, their friends and their neighbors -- because all of them could be victims -- deserve better answers, just as they deserve better service than USOPM's credit monitoring provider is giving them.

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CT News Junkie: Lawmakers and Health Advocates Propose Ban on Chemical In Paper Receipts

People have begun looking to individual states to enact protective legislation because of the federal government’s inability to adequately address the issue, she said. And Connecticut has been a leader in tackling the issue, in large part thanks to the work of many lawmakers who recognize the gravity of the situation, Hulick said.

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News Release | Financial Reform

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Track for July Launch

Six months after Wall Street reform legislation creating the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was signed, a leading coalition released Halfway to the CFPB: An AFR Progress Report on “Standing Up” the New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Hartford Courant: State Has A Lot At Stake In Debate on Health Care Law

Connecticut has a lot at stake in the health care debate. If the health care law is repealed, the state government and Connecticut's network of 29 hospitals are scheduled to lose upward of $250 million in federal funds that are already reaching Connecticut under the law. And hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents already benefiting from health care reform would be affected.

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Media Hit | Food

Food Safety News: USDA Unveils New School Lunch Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday unveiled proposed nutritional standards for meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the first major upgrade to nutritional requirements in 15 years. The tougher standards are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, recently signed into law by President Obama, that aims to reduce both childhood hunger and obesity.

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News Release | Health Care

Healthcare Repeal Would Have Costly Consequences for Connecticut Consumers and Small Businesses

Consumers and small businesses in Connecticut will face significantly higher insurance premiums and could see costly coverage denials and price discrimination if efforts to repeal the federal health care law prevail in Congress or in the courts, according to The Cost of Repeal: Examining the Impact on Connecticut of Repealing the New Federal Health Care Law, a new report released today by ConnPIRG.  

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