National Consumers League

From the Experts Blog

NCL staff is hard at work for you playing watchdog on a variety of issues. Get to know the latest From the Experts!

School lunches crucial for growing kids

Students who are hungry or malnourished have trouble concentrating and learning. In fact, students who get healthier meals show a 4 percent improvement in test scores, according to Dr. Michael Anderson, associate professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Anderson found that “students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher on CA state achievement tests, with larger test score increases for students who are eligible for reduced price or free school lunches.”

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In defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

In its short tenure, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), under Director Richard Cordray has done an excellent job  of preventing consumers from harm and helping wronged consumers get the recourse they deserve. The American people have seen the great work the Bureau has accomplished, and it is not surprising that the CFPB enjoys support from both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, given the success of the CFPB as a consumer watchdog, it is also not too surprising to see the very industries and actors the CFPB has been charged to regulate, amass support for its weakening or even outright dismantling in Congress. 

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Happy Mother’s Day 2017

2017 marks the centennial of women being allowed to serve as Members in Congress. Jeanette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to serve in the House of Representative in 1916 and again in 1940. To commemorate this august celebration, the House of Representatives’ historian is featuring a special exhibit of oral histories, which you can check out here if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to see it in person.

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FCC drops the ball on rehabilitating America’s prison population

byoung-92.jpegIn 2015, the Federal Communications Commission took action to rein in the $1.2 billion dollar prison phone industry. Prior to this action, prisons would charge outrageous amounts -- up to $14 a minute -- for inmates to contact family on the outside. The FCC’s new rule limited rates to no more than  $1.65 for most 15 minute calls. Recently however, new leadership at the FCC declined to defend legal challenges from the for-profit prison phone industry to the Commission’s intrastate (long distance calls within a state) rate caps. This is a huge mistake that will hurt families and communities across the nation.

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