WASHINGTON, DC – Before voting this morning to pass the Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act, Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, spoke on the House floor urging all of his colleagues to put aside political expediency and vote together to lower prices at the pump.
Congressman Cicilline this week convened an Antitrust Subcommittee hearing on “Reviving Competition, Part 6: Rebuilding America’s Economic Leadership and Combatting Corporate Profiteering” which addressed price gouging we are currently seeing from giant oil corporations
A transcript of the Congressman’s floor speech is below.
Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act.
On the mind of every single American today are soaring gas prices that are happening all across this country. Just this week, prices hit $4 – or more – in every state, draining the wallets of everyday Americans.
Gas companies would like us to think that these prices are rising SOLELY because of inflation and supply chain issues.
But, if these prices were solely based on inflation or supply chain issues, these companies wouldn’t be seeing the record profits they’ve seen in recent months.
The real issues are greed, manipulation, and market concentration.
They’re trying to take advantage of the pandemic as an opportunity to raise prices just because they can and consumers are paying for it.
Exxon reported that in the first quarter of 2022, its net profit more than doubled to $5.5 billion compared to last year.
Chevron has reported its highest quarterly profit in nearly a decade – just to name a few of examples.
These profits are a direct expense to American families, many of whom are struggling just to make ends meet.
This desperately needed legislation will help lower gas prices to a fair level by cracking down on price gouging and penalizing market manipulations.
This legislation will directly prohibit exploitative and unconscionably excessive prices at the pump – which we’ve seen for months all across this country.
And rather than try to blame people, and take advantage of this moment, we should be working together to lower prices for consumers.
Instead of making speeches about how this is Joe Biden’s fault, look at the market concentration, look at the gouging, and do something to help your constituents by lowering gas prices.
I know it might not be as politically advantageous but, let’s do the right thing and provide real relief to working families who are struggling with these outrageous prices that are a direct result of market share, manipulation, gouging.
We can do something about it. This bill does so.
I’m proud to be a cosponsor. I urge everyone who cares about the high price of gas to stop playing the blame game and do something to help your constituents. This bill will do it.
And with that Madam Speaker, I yield back.