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Senator Casey has produced four reports detailing his investigations into corporate greed squeezing families’ budgets

According to data compiled in Casey’s greedflation series, from June 2020 through June 2022, inflation rose by 14 percent while corporate profits rose by more than 74 percent

Senator Casey continues to push for passage of Price Gouging Prevention Act and Shrinkflation Reduction Act

Washington, DC – Today, at a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Children and Families Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) highlighted how greedflation places unfair burdens on American children and families. In the hearing, Casey spotlighted four reports that he has released detailing how corporate greed led to higher prices and record corporate profits while American families struggle to pay for their everyday necessities. He also invited two Pennsylvanians to testify on their experiences with higher costs and how greedflation is hurting their budgets.

“While families struggled, corporations took in record profits, using inflation as a cover to artificially inflate their prices. I’m calling it greedflation, and I am fighting back,” said Chairman Casey. “Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, deserve to pay fair prices—and we must hold corporations accountable for all the ways in which they take advantage of consumers.

Chairman Casey invited Mrs. Erin Wiggle, a veteran, animal rescue non-profit owner, mom of 11, and a foster parent who has cared for upwards of 50 children, to testify about how high costs have impact her business and family.

“Between our business and children, we incur many expenses, from diapers and food to gas and vet costs. This is particularly true given the medical needs of some of our children with special needs. […] These costs add up—and have become more burdensome since the pandemic. For example, yogurt used to be 4 for $1, now they are $1 each. American cheese went from $4.99 to $9.99,” said Mrs. Wiggle.

Chairman Casey also invited Daniel Lee, an army veteran and Philadelphia restaurant owner, to testify about how rising prices have strained his business and how delivery apps impose fees on restaurants.

“The fees that these apps [Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats] charge the consumer are significant—and strain the consumers’ ability to shop at my store. To offset the fee these companies charge, we raise our prices for the apps and run the risk of alienating our customers—even the loyal ones—because they can’t afford the higher price in addition to the extra fees. […] It’s a vicious cycle—we raise the prices to maintain revenue, higher prices cause me to lose business and lose money—and eventually restaurants like mine must shut down,” said Mr. Lee.  

The hearing shone a light on how corporations are fleecing Americans and about what can be done to protect the Nation’s children and families. Since November 2023, Chairman Casey has been investigating corporate price gouging and other actions by big corporations that have squeezed the budgets of American families and contributed to the increase in inflation.

In November, Chairman Casey released the first report in his greedflation series, “Greedflation: How Corporations Are Making Record Profits on the Backs of American Families,” detailing how big corporations are using inflation as cover to raise prices and rake in record profits at the expense of middle-class American families and laying out Senator Casey’s vision to hold greedy corporations accountable. Corporate executives claim they’ve “earned the right” to raise prices and that their products “are worth paying a little bit more for.”

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Casey released his second report, “Stuffing Their Pockets: How Big Food and Agriculture Businesses Are Making Your Holiday Meals More Expensive," examining how the agribusiness companies that process Americans’ food have increased prices for everyday staple foods and raising questions about why those price increases are necessary, particularly during the holiday season. Some of these companies have a history of engaging in price-fixing, colluding to raise prices, anti-competitive conduct, and touting their ability to raise prices without limit. Seeking answers, Senator Casey sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Agriculture requesting that the agencies use all necessary resources to investigate possible unfair pricing practices of major chicken and pork processors in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission, in response, assured Senator Casey that policing potentially anticompetitive conduct in food industries continues to be a top priority for the Commission given the high stakes for American families, farmers, and the Nation’s economy.

In December 2023, Casey released his third report of his greedflation series, “Less Bang for Your Buck: Casey Releases Shrinkflation Report Exposing Big Corporations for Reducing Product Size While Keeping Prices High,” calling out household consumer products, food, and beverage corporations for reducing the size of household consumer goods, from toilet paper to cereals to snacks, while continuing to sell them at the same retail price. To better protect families’ pocketbooks, Senator Casey sent letters to the trade associations representing household consumer products, food, and beverage corporations demanding answers about pricing strategies, package size practices, and how shrinkflation affects customers.

In January 2024, Casey released his fourth report of his greedflation series, “Additional Charges May Apply: How Big Corporations Use Hidden Fees to Nickel, Dime, and Deceive American Families detailing how big corporations are tacking on excessive fees at the tail end of everyday purchases, from internet plans to ATM withdrawals. Senator Casey believes that no Pennsylvanian should be blindsided by a junk fee and that the negative impacts of hidden fees can be mitigated by: fighting deceptive practices that allow corporations to hide the fees they charge consumers; preventing corporations from deceptively passing along their expenses to working families through bogus fees; and protecting businesses that are honest about their pricing structures. In a letter to the Government Accountability Office that same month, Senator Casey pushed the government watchdog to examine the effects of corporate greed on American consumers.

In February 2024, Casey introduced legislation to protect American families from greedflation by banning grossly excessive price increases and crack down on corporate price gouging. The same month, Casey also introduced the Shrinkflation Prevention Act, which empowers the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down on corporations that deceive consumers by selling smaller sizes of their products without lowering the prices. Senator Casey also sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan in support of FTC’s proposal to eliminate junk fees across the market.

In April 2024, Casey sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra in support of the CFPB’s proposed rule to crack down on excessive overdraft banking penalties.

In June 2024, Casey linked Target, Walmart, and Amazon—the Nation’s largest, second largest, and sixth largest retailers— to greedflation. Senator Casey demanded that Target, Walmart and Amazon explain their pricing decisions, including how inflation impacts their decision making, the duration of the recently announced price changes, the corporations’ use of shrinkflation, and how they work with brands sold in store to monitor price changes and package changes.