Afternoon Development Threatens Omnibus Passage Impacting The INFORM Act

U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Includes INFORM Act in Omnibus Funding Package

Pallone & Schakowsky Highlight Key Consumer Protection & Commerce Provisions in Omnibus

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) released the following joint statement today after introduction of the fiscal year 2023 omnibus funding package, which included commonsense bills to protect consumers and promote the economy.

The final omnibus package includes critical pieces of legislation that will protect American consumers, bolster our manufacturing industry here at home, and promote our economic competitiveness on the world stage.

This end-of-year package is in lock step with our Committee’s commitment to put consumers first. It includes legislation that will help curb the onslaught of counterfeit, defective, and unsafe products available to Americans shopping on third-party e-commerce sites—a major source of fake and unsafe goods. It also includes commonsense provisions to keep dangerous furniture products that can tip over on small children off the market and out of our homes.

Specifically, the omnibus includes consumer protection and commerce provisions that:

Establish a national standard, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State Attorneys General, that require online platforms that allow third party sellers of consumer products to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers, enabling consumers to obtain basic identification and contact information for certain sellers. This provision was authored by Schakowsky and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Ranking Member Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). on page 2800 of the Omnibus Act.

Retailers Push for Passage of INFORM Act

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2022 – The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French following the inclusion of the “Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act” in year-end congressional omnibus legislation.

“On behalf of the retail industry, we are extremely pleased negotiators included the INFORM Act in the omnibus package, and we look forward to passage in Congress this week.

“The INFORM Act will bring transparency to online marketplaces by requiring them to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers. Doing so will help curb the fencing of stolen merchandise and address the sale of counterfeit goods, which are common tactics of organized retail crime (ORC) groups.

“NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses last year.

“While ORC can vary in scope and scale, the common denominator is that the activity is a coordinated, organized effort. These criminal rings operate sophisticated enterprises that aim to ransack retailers and sell illegally obtained merchandise for profit, endangering both employees and consumers.

“NRF has long supported meaningful legislation to curtail the danger and destruction caused from these criminal activities. We applaud Congress for passing this important measure before the end of the year.”

NRF has been a vocal advocate to pass legislation that helps curb the threat of organized retail crime. The trade group has led industry-wide efforts, including a successful grassroots campaign, in support of both the INFORM Act and the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

Battling Organized Retail Crime: 

Huge Win for Retailers, Workers and Consumers

INFORM Consumers Act One Step Closer to Becoming Law

Washington, DC - Today the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the

following statement welcoming news that crucial consumer and employee safety legislation, the INFORM Consumers Act, is included within the 2023 omnibus appropriations bill.

“After three years of working together with RILA member companies, law enforcement, and policymakers, we are thrilled the INFORM Consumers Act is included in the 2023 omnibus spending package,” said RILA Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson. “INFORM will require more transparency online, making it harder to anonymously fence stolen products on Amazon and other marketplaces, and it will empower law enforcement to prosecute organized retail crime networks across the country. Its passage is a victory for businesses, retail workers, consumers, and communities large and small who have been impacted by the surge in organized retail crime (ORC).”

The INFORM Consumers Act will require online marketplaces to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers and disclose basic information to shoppers and law enforcement. Removing the anonymity on these platforms by creating basic accountability measures will protect consumers from illicit goods, aid law enforcement in their efforts to track organized crime and make it harder for bad actors to build an illegal business and profit by selling stolen or counterfeit merchandise.

“We thank Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Cassidy (R-LA) and Representatives Schakowsky (D-IL) and Bilirakis (R-FL) for their never-wavering support and commitment to protecting consumers. Thanks to their dedication, this crucial piece of legislation is on track to become law. We also thank all our partners including small business owners, community leaders, state retail associations, retail asset protection leaders, state attorneys general, and more who shared their experiences and leant their voices to our advocacy efforts,” added Hanson. “With their help, we were able to secure bipartisan, bicameral support for INFORM as the common-sense solution to addressing this growing problem.”

“The issue of organized retail crime won’t be solved overnight, but with INFORM in place at the federal level and states coordinating efforts with additional resources, stakeholders will finally have a more comprehensive approach to tackling this problem in our communities,” added Hanson. -

The Omnibus Funding Package

What made the cut in Congress’ 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion funding bill — and what didn’t

Cannabis banking bill failed - Ed. Note: Remaining Robbery Targets

A bipartisan push to tuck the popular cannabis banking bill known as the SAFE Banking Act into the omnibus failed.

The bill sought to do away with federal rules restricting banks from working with legal cannabis businesses. It had strong backing from Democrats, and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a key backer, had said he was confident the bill, which had nine GOP cosponsors, would fetch sufficient bipartisan support.

“The failure to pass my bipartisan ‘SAFE Banking Act’ means communities in Montana and across our country will remain vulnerable to crime where legal businesses are forced to operate in all-cash,” Daines said. “This bill to promote public safety would have been well positioned to pass had it gone through the regular committee process—as I called for more than a year ago. Our small businesses, law enforcement and communities deserve better.” -

TikTok ban - made it in package

Legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) seeking to prohibit the use of TikTok on government phones and devices made it into the package. -

Eighteen states have taken action against TikTok

Afternoon Update:

The Whole Omnibus Funding Package Threatened

The Hill: House GOP bloc threatens to ‘thwart’ legislative priorities of GOP senators who vote for omnibus

A group of 13 current and incoming GOP House members are calling on Republican senators to oppose the omnibus spending bill released early Tuesday morning, threatening to “thwart” any policy priorities championed by Republican senators who vote for the legislative package.

The tactic also got an endorsement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is aiming to become Speaker despite opposition from several of the letter’s signatories that threatens to keep him from the gavel. The GOP Leader pledged that bills from GOP senators who vote for the package would be “dead on arrival” if he is Speaker.

The letter called the omnibus bill an “indefensible assault” on separation of powers, fiscal responsibility and civic decency. The bill, which was negotiated between Republicans and Democrats, needs support from at least 10 Senate Republicans in order to overcome a filibuster.

“Further, we are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill – including the Republican leader,”

The threat marks an escalation for the House GOP members who have long called for an omnibus spending bill to be delayed until after the GOP takes control of the House.

Text of the omnibus spending package, which would last through the end of the 2023 fiscal year in September, was released early Tuesday morning. Both chambers of Congress are expected to vote on the legislation this week before government funding runs out on Dec. 23.

On Wednesday, McCarthy tweeted an endorsement of the tactics outlined in the letter.

“Agreed. Except no need to whip—when I’m Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people,” McCarthy said. -