By: Tom Hebert
In an interview last week, far-left Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) forecasted possible Senate antitrust companion legislation to the Cicilline antitrust package that was drafted with little input from rank-and-file Republican members.
The left’s antitrust agenda would vastly empower unelected Biden bureaucrats and screw up the goods and services Americans use every day. Senate Republicans should hold firm and reject any proposals that would politicize antitrust law.
Jayapal talked at length about H.R. 3825, the “Ending Platform Monopolies Act,” legislation that would force the breakup of a company that operates a line of business that a bureaucrat determines is a “conflict of interest.”
H.R. 3825 would ban targeted companies from producing private-label products and selling them on their own marketplaces, depriving shoppers of access to products they value that are often cheaper than brand-name goods. This makes just about as much sense as banning a grocery store from selling generic cereal. Raising prices on everyday household items is the last thing American families need as they attempt to dig out from under the pandemic.
During the interview, Jayapal confirms that the left’s full-court, government-wide effort to weaponize antitrust law is in full swing:
“They are supportive, actually. And you might have seen that they appointed some of our best people that we were pushing, (FTC Chair) Lina Khan, (National Economic Council deputy director) Bharat Ramamurti, (special assistant to the president) Tim Wu, many others. And even the Attorney General for antitrust, (Jonathan Kanter) great choice. We’re excited about him. So it’s looking very good.”
Additionally, Jayapal confirms that the Senate bills will have the same language as the House bills, and that Democrat lawmakers are looking for Republican cosponsors:
“The trajectory will be that the Senate will introduce the same House bills, ideally with bipartisan co-sponsorship again, and then we will try to move the bills through the house as quickly as we can. Obviously, we’re focused on reconciliation now. But my hope is that within the next three to six months, we could move those bills through the House.”
Senate Republicans should stay far, far away from companion legislation that mirrors the Cicilline package. The six antitrust bills limped out of a 29-hour House Judiciary markup with little conservative support. The package does absolutely nothing to stop Big Tech censorship of conservatives. Instead, it gives unfettered power to Biden bureaucrats to play smash mouth with American companies and advance their woke social agenda.
As we head into the fall, Republican lawmakers need to hold the line and reject any change to antitrust law that would give more power to the Biden Administration. Doing so would stunt our economic growth and increase government abuse of conservatives.