Text: H.R.6264 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/12/2020)


116th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6264


To prohibit price gouging during a state of emergency declaration, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 12, 2020

Mr. Smith of Missouri (for himself and Mr. Gottheimer) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To prohibit price gouging during a state of emergency declaration, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Preventing Pandemic Profiting Act”.

SEC. 2. Prohibition.

(a) In general.—Chapter 11 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 220 the following:

§ 221. Price gouging during a state of emergency declaration

“(a) In general.—Whoever, in any location that has received a state of emergency declaration, knowingly sells or offers for sale, during the effective period of such declaration, any goods or services identified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as vital and necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers, including medical treatment, at an unconscionably excessive price, shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

“(b) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION.—The term ‘state of emergency declaration’ means—

“(A) a public health emergency declaration under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act;

“(B) a major disaster declaration under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; or

“(C) an emergency declaration under section 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

“(2) UNCONSCIONABLY EXCESSIVE PRICE.—The term ‘unconscionably excessive price’—

“(A) means a price higher than the average price at which goods or services were sold or offered for sale during the 30-day period prior to the date on which a state of emergency declaration is made; and

“(B) does not include—

“(i) an increased price that reflects the average profit margin during the 30-day period prior to the date on which a state of emergency declaration is made, plus an increase in the cost of services or the cost of acquiring, producing, selling, transporting, and delivering goods; or

“(ii) any price agreed to by a seller and consumer prior to the date on which a state of emergency declaration is made.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections for chapter 11 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item related to section 220 the following:


“221. Price gouging during a state of emergency declaration.”.

(c) Application.—This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to conduct occurring on or after the date of enactment of this Act.


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