National Economic Council Director Brian Deese came out in favor of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s antitrust pet project Thursday afternoon, telling reporters that it was a “priority” for the Biden Administration.
Priority or not, Democrats do not have the votes to pass the Klobuchar bill, the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” (S. 2992). According to the Washington Post, just 17 Senate Democrats have announced support of the legislation, well short of the 60 votes needed to send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk. Over a dozen Democrat lawmakers have publicly announced concerns with the legislation, as many as there are Senate cosponsors.
S. 2992 bans a select few companies from engaging in a litany of routine business activity. Bill supporters promise that S. 2992 only applies to four or five technology companies, but legislating via market capitalization in this fashion opens the door for future sectoral regulation. While the tech sector may be on the chopping block today, any industry that does not comply with the left’s social agenda will be in the hot seat tomorrow. The bill would hand progressives a permanent weapon to use to bring companies and industries under government control.
These significant problems have made it difficult for the bill to garner any traction with the American people. A new poll from Echelon Insights shows just how little of a priority antitrust reform is for voters, with inflation clocking in as the top priority for Americans. 85 percent of Americans believe that proposals like the Klobuchar bill would make inflation worse. Only 1 percent of voters say tech regulation is a major priority – when asked about specific proposals, only 5 percent of voters named antitrust as a priority.
The Echelon poll dovetails with another recent poll from the Trafalgar Group, which shows a whopping 0.1 percent of voters view antitrust reform as their top priority. Zero percent of voters ages 18-64 named antitrust reform as their vote-moving issue. A recent Gallup survey of 2,000 Americans showed inflation again as the top priority – antitrust reform did not rank. This is hardly the grassroots momentum that bill sponsors brag about.
Despite what Deese says, there is zero genuine public appetite for the sweeping antitrust reforms in the Klobuchar bill. Priority or not, Klobuchar’s pet project is nowhere close to 60 Senate votes.
Photo Credit: “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC by-SA 2.0