Klobuchar’s Pet Project Has “All But Fizzled Out”

Senator Amy Klobuchar [D-Minn.] has dedicated years to cultivating support for her pet project, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.  This project looked like it would all culminate in a Senate vote early this summer based on a promise that Senator Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] made to Senator Klobuchar. However, we are already midway into this summer and the Senate has yet to vote on the legislation. Fortunately for the public, an Axios report also reveals that the chances of a Senate vote occurring on the bill have “all but fizzled out.”

Congressional Democrats are desperate to curry favor with an unhappy public before the crucial midterm elections this November. As Americans have been scorned with rising prices of goods and services, they have put a great deal of pressure on Congress to tackle our current inflationary crisis. Recent polling has shown these trends as a Gallup poll conducted in May 2022 indicated that 52% of Americans named inflation as their most important issue. Antitrust did not even rank on the poll. Since then, inflation fears have only gotten worse as a CNBC poll found “the worst economic outlook measures CNBC has recorded in the 15-year history of the survey,” which has contributed to President Biden only achieving a grim 30% approval rating.

Antitrust reform is the last issue on the mind of voters. By prioritizing it, however, Congress would ironically risk exacerbating the greatest issue on the minds of voters. Former National Economic Council Advisor Larry Summers posted a Twitter thread in May warning that the Biden Administration’s neo-Brandeisian approach to antitrust policy, which would be expanded upon through the passage of the AICOA, “will make the US economy more inflationary and less resilient.” Therefore, it makes total sense for Democrats to put the brakes on this problematic legislation.

Senate Democrats are currently prioritizing issues of greater concern to their base, such as same-sex marriage and contraception. These matters are likely to do less short- and long-term damage to the American economy than antitrust reform, and more immediately address concerns on the minds of voters. Republicans ought to follow suit and focus on measures that actually matter to voters.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons