WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation today passed an amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) that would stop votes cast by Federal Trade Commissioners (FTC) from being counted after the commissioners have left their post.
Politico reported in November that former Commissioner Rohit Chopra cast 20 votes on his final day on the commission regarding pending motions before the FTC. According to the FTC’s interpretation of a rule, any of the five commissioners can introduce a motion for a vote. If no one responds, the motion fails after 30 days. However, if another commissioner seconds it, the motion can live on for another 30 days. This allows the votes of commissioners who have left the commission to remain active up to 60 days after their departure. Therefore, this rule allowed Chopra’s votes to be live for up to 60 days from his last day on October 8, 2021 despite him no longer being a commissioner.
“Your last day in office is the last day your vote should count,” said Sen. Moran. “It’s troubling that votes cast by commissioners on outstanding issues can be counted up to 60 days past their departure. This is a straightforward and sensible reform that supports good governance and will help protect the integrity of the commission.”
“While I opposed the underlying bill, I was glad to see Sen. Moran’s and my amendment adopted by voice during today’s Commerce Committee markup," said Sen. Cruz. "It defies logic that former Commissioners can keep ‘voting’ even after they’ve left the job, and it is long past time we end the arcane rule that makes it possible. I am hopeful that the bipartisan agreement shown today means Sen. Moran’s FTC Integrity Act, on which the amendment was based, can finally and expeditiously move forward.”
The amended version of S. 4145, the Consumer Protection Remedies Act of 2022, will now go to the full Senate for a vote. The amendment was originally introduced as the FTC Integrity Act and was also cosponsored by Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Mike Lee (Utah), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.).
Click HERE for Sen. Moran’s full remarks before the Commerce Committee
# # #