Congress Shows Rare Bipartisanship — This to Undermine the First Amendment



Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Barbara Comstock.

Price and Comstock discuss the recent markup of the 5 “antitrust” bills championed by Reps. Cicilline and Buck.
The bottom line of these bills is a push for the unprecedented regulation of journalism.  Although not likely to pass in the Senate (and will have enough trouble in the House); and unlikely to get the President’s signature even if it did, these legislative efforts show an increasingly hostile environment towards a free press.
Buck and Cicilline have weighed in on this, providing the following statement:

“House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-Colo.) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, legislation that will allow small news outlets to band together to negotiate with large online platforms like Google and Facebook.

“’One of the bedrock values of our country is a free press, but we have seen thousands of news organizations crushed by the monopolistic power of Big Tech,’ Ranking Member Buck said. ‘This bipartisan bill is an important start to remedying the results of Google, Facebook, and other’s anticompetitive conduct toward local news outlets, conservative media, and other news organizations.’

“’A strong, diverse, free press is critical for any successful democracy. Access to trustworthy local journalism helps inform the public, hold powerful people accountable, and root out corruption,’ Chairman Cicilline, who has introduced the bill in each of the last two Congresses, said. ‘This bill will give hardworking local reporters and publishers the helping hand they need right now, so they can continue to do their important work.'”

According to a statement:

“Antitrust law protects American consumers from low-quality goods and services, but Google’s products are highly innovative and free for everyone. The Justice Department’s misguided lawsuit stretches antitrust law beyond its breaking point and risks breaking the very products that Americans love and use every day.”

Barbara represented Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District, was a senior appointee in the Justice Department, and worked as a Congressional aide. Her election marked her as the first woman elected to that seat. She was named as one of the “Top Ten Most Effective Lawmakers” in the 115th Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a joint effort of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University.

According to a statement from Ms. Comstock, “During her time in Congress, Barbara was a leader on technology and cybersecurity issues, chairing the Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Research and Technology subcommittee, as well as serving on the Joint Economic Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the House Administration Committee. Her legislative achievements include passing legislation to promote women and disadvantaged populations in STEM, as well as expanding research in the technology space. Barbara also was the leader on anti-sexual harassment legislation in Congress, and legislation to tackle the opioid crisis and gang crime. She partnered with Senator McCain to reauthorize multi-year firefighter grants to increase innovation and public safety. While in Congress, Barbara was the only woman in the Virginia congressional delegation and the only Virginia member to chair a subcommittee.”

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