Big Tech has spent tens of millions lobbying to stop bipartisan and notoriously antitrust reforms, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appears to be making good on that wish, even as he tries to blame Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 16-6 vote. The Open App Markets Act, sponsored 20-2 by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Each of them went through a committee in the House.
The first bill would stop big platforms like Google, Amazon and Facebook from advertising their products over competitors. The second prevents Google and Apple developers from using their app stores (with a 30% “tax”) to sell to consumers.
Polls show that roughly three-quarters of Americans support each. We supported them till June 2021.
For months, Schumer has promised a floor vote on the bill, even calling it a “high priority.” . . Biden said the White House also supported them, but he didn’t get into it.
That prompted Grassley and others to push to include both measures in an “omnibus” bill coming up for a vote this week to prop up the government for the new year, prompting President Joe Biden to intervene.
“The White House is clear in its support for this legislation,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) told Fox News last week. “It’s time to vote on this historic, bipartisan legislation and deliver it to small businesses, consumers and creators.”
“Allowing the big tech companies to dominate policy decisions in Washington is not a sustainable option,” warns Klobuchar.
It may be that the real holdup is Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Her friend, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), is an opponent of those measures. (Incidentally, Lofgren’s daughter works on Google’s legal team, while Pelosi makes big money from Big Tech stock-trading.) Or maybe it’s McConnell. He did According to the Schumer camp, balk.
On the other hand, Schumer has his own family’s Big Tech ties: One of his daughters works for Facebook, another for Google — as lobbyist.
However, earlier this year, Schumer committed to voting last summer. Then, inside AugustSchumer spokesman Angelo Rofaro told the Post: “Sen. Schumer, along with Sen. Klobuchar and other supporters, plans to gather the necessary votes.
Again, the committee vote shows overwhelming bipartisan support for both bills; The White House says he’s on board, too. So he should include them in the omnibus. Simple to pass. And if the House and Senate don’t act this month, it will be back to square one.
There is no way opponents of these public reforms will get the votes to shut down the government on this issue; Some backroom deal is at work here. Is this enough to break Schumer’s promise? one more time?