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2021 Archives: Financial Security and Consumer Affairs

AARP correspondence to lawmakers and regulators

The following documents related to consumer affairs and the financial security of people 50-plus are presented in reverse chronological order.

March

L: On March 25, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles P. Rettig concerning the delay in distribution of individual recovery rebates to Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries. Many older Americans who have been hard hit by the health and economic impact of the pandemic have yet to receive either their payments or clear communications from the government on when this will occur. (PDF)

L: On March 25, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul concerning the delay in distribution of individual recovery rebates to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. Many older Americans who have been hard hit by the health and economic impact of the pandemic have yet to receive either their payments or clear communications from the government on when this will occur. (PDF)

S: On March 18, 2021 AARP Foundation Senior Attorney Laurie McCann provided testimony before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee joint hearing of the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee and the Workforce Protections Subcommittee entitled “Fighting for Fairness: Examining Legislation to Confront Workplace Discrimination.” As was the case with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — where Congress took bipartisan action to restore the statute's protections by enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 — AARP believes that it is well past time to restore basic fairness for older workers and to enact the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) immediately. (PDF)

L: On March 12, 2021, AARP sent a letter to Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar of the U.S. Department of Justice to request that the Justice Department withdraw its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of U.S. v. Vaello-Madero, pertaining to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for Puerto Rico residents. AARP believes the lower court ruling should remain in place and that Puerto Rico residents should be eligible to receive much-needed SSI benefits. (PDF)

L: On March 3, 2021 AARP along with 79 other organizations sent a letter to the Acting Director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission urging that both government agencies take immediate action to prevent or limit imminent rental evictions and home foreclosures in the private mortgage market pursuant to their existing authorities under section 5 of the FTC Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These statutes give these agencies the authority to address unfair, deceptive or abusive evictions or foreclosures in the midst of a health and economic crisis. (PDF)

February

L: On February 25, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell outlining AARP’s priorities with regard to the COVID relief package currently making its way through Congress. In the letter, AARP notes the following priority issues for Congressional leadership:  Vaccine Distribution; Direct Payment Relief from Economic Shocks; Nursing Homes, Other Long-Term Care Facilities, and Home and Community-Based Services; Further Investments in Federal Nutrition Programs; Health Care Access and Affordability; Emergency Paid Family and Sick Leave; Age Discrimination; Financial Support for Unemployed Older Workers; Housing and Transportation; and Pension Relief. (PDF)

On February 24, 2021, AARP sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Walberg (R-MI), Deutch (D-FL), Buchanan (R-FL), and Welch (D-VT) in support of the bipartisan Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. (PDF) The U.S. House legislation includes the text from two bipartisan U.S. Senate bills also endorsed by AARP: The Stop Senior Scams Act (PDF), sponsored by Senators. Casey (D-PA) & Moran (R-KS), and The Senior Fraud Prevention Act (PDF), sponsored by Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) & Collins (R-ME).

L: On February 22, 2021 AARP sent a letter to Chair Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, and to Chair Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Ranking Member Mike Kelly of the Subcommittee on Oversight to express support for extending the 2021 federal tax filing season. Many older Americans, who are most at risk from COVID-19, require assistance in preparing their tax returns and may not have access to or familiarity with online platforms to fill out their forms over the internet. To protect public health and ensure all tax filers, including older Americans, receive the time and assistance they need to file their taxes, Congress should extend the tax filing deadline and waive all interest and penalties resulting from any such extension. (PDF)

C: On February 16, 2021 AARP filed comments with the Federal Reserve in response to the Community Reinvestment Act Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  AARP urged that any revised CRA regulations preserve and promote several objectives of particular concern to older Americans, such as offering affordable financing for older individuals to make necessary alternations to their homes to cope with the cost of home maintenance, to offering protections to residents of low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities who face displacement as older neighborhoods are redeveloped. (PDF)

C: On February 16th, 2021, AARP submitted reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program that Congress allocated as part of the Federal year end bill. AARPs comments focus on how the Commission should structure the EBB regarding program promotion, eligibility, and transparency. The EBB program will be administered by the FCC and will provide a discount for eligible, low-income households for monthly internet service expenses.  At this time, the FCC is gathering advice on how to best administer this new benefit. The program does not have an official start date, and it could take several months for the program to go into effect. (PDF)

L: On February 4, 2021 AARP submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on implementation of Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act pertaining to consumer access to financial records. AARP urged that any future rulemaking by the CFPB ensure the benefits of consumer data access are available to older adults and that CFPB address the potential risks of financial harm, including via fraud or scams. (PDF)