May 03, 2023

Van Hollen, Hickenlooper Meet With National Economic Council Director to Discuss Eliminating Junk Fees

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and John Hickenlooper met with National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard to discuss taking action against “junk fees”, extra and often hidden costs that are added to services and products that hurt American consumers. The meeting follows the March letter sent by Senators Van Hollen, Hickenlooper, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to the National Economic Council requesting a meeting and urging the Administration to take action to eliminate junk fees. 

“Hidden junk fees add up and cause real pocketbook pain to American families. As the Biden Administration seeks to tackle these fees, we had a constructive discussion with Director Brainard on our work on these important consumer protection issues. We’re committed to taking more steps to crack down on these deceptive practices – including passing legislation like my Consumer OPT-IN Act to put more money back in Americans’ pockets,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

“American consumers are sick and tired of junk fees getting piled onto everything,” said Hickenlooper, following the meeting. “I appreciated speaking to Director Brainard about what Congress can do to help protect Americans.”

Junk fees are excessive and unfair costs that are often not disclosed until mid-transaction or at the time of payment, and can make the overall price more than the advertised offer. Junk fees are used across many sectors, including banking, travel, utility services, and more, causing frustration and confusion for millions of Americans.