Democrats, Republicans could discover widespread floor focusing on tech firms | Nationwide

(The Center Square) – Campaign strategists have named U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., As one of the leading 2024 presidential nominations. For now, however, the Senator has a controversial and ambitious goal: regulating big tech.

In addition, he may have enough Democratic allies to bring the greatest tech leaders in need.

Hawley on Monday passed laws aimed directly at several of the largest technology companies to “restore accountability and competition.” The “Bust up Big Tech” law is the latest in a series of legislative initiatives aimed at creating rules to limit companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google.

“Woke Big Tech companies like Google and Amazon have been pampered by Washington politicians for years,” said Hawley. “This treatment has allowed them to amass colossal amounts of power to censor political opinions with which they disagree and to exclude competitors who offer consumers an alternative to the status quo. It is time to crush big tech companies, restore competition, and restore power to American consumers. “

In particular, Hawley’s legislation would empower the Federal Trade Commission to oversee and enforce several new rules, including preventing companies that host search engines or marketplaces from offering their own retail products in those locations.

“Amazon shouldn’t be able to own Amazon Marketplace and sell its own Amazon products on its marketplace against other competitors,” Hawley’s office said in a statement. “Amazon cannot continue to have a predominantly dominant retail business while owning an enormous amount of the cloud computing technology that the Internet itself is built on.”

The bill would also prevent these companies like Amazon from also hosting the cloud computing used by many websites. Amazon made headlines earlier this year when it launched the conservative social media site Parler from its cloud hosting services.

“Amazon cannot continue to have a predominantly dominant retail business while owning an enormous portion of the cloud computing technology that the Internet itself is built on,” said Hawley’s office.

The proposal comes after a series of Congressional hearings where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the larger tech companies.

Hawley’s rise within his own party and rumors that he will seek a presidential bid in 2024 suggest that his focus on technology could be central to the minds of Americans.

The Federal Election Commission’s records for the first quarter show that Hawley is running serious fundraising drives and raised approximately $ 3 million in the first three months of this year. He was only defeated by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who nearly snatched the Republican nomination last time around.

Monday’s filing is the latest in a series of Hawley bills aimed at technology companies. A bill introduced last week would ban the popular Tik-Tok app from government gadgets because of its links with the Chinese Communist Party. Another bill would ban all mergers and acquisitions for companies with a market capitalization of more than $ 100 billion.

“Facebook’s dominance in social networks should prevent it from acquiring startups looking to build new social media platforms,” ​​said Hawley’s office.

Since the 2016 election put Facebook to the test, Congress has held multiple hearings on a range of topics that tech CEOs have testified on. Each time, both Democrats and Republicans questioned business leaders aggressively, often with different lines of attack, but both with the same attitude.

On the left side of the aisle, a number of prominent members have expressed a desire to find tech companies. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Who sought the Democratic nomination for president early last year, introduced legislation earlier this year to bolster antitrust laws that could hamper tech companies.

“Antitrust enforcement involves more than just price and production – it’s part of our daily lives, from the price of food in the market to the cost of prescription drugs,” said Klobuchar. “The fight against the concentration of power is a cornerstone of a healthy economy. These are consumer problems, not partisan problems, and these bills will protect consumers by modernizing antitrust enforcement and promoting competition. “

From the moderate Klobuchar to the more progressive Senators Liz Warren, D-Mass., The antitrust efforts appear to have widespread support.

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power – too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy,” Warren said.

It is clear that members of both parties want to regulate the tech industry, but what proposals will actually become law and how quickly it will happen remains to be seen.

A member of the House captured the mood at a virtual congressional hearing in March that was attended by several tech CEOs.

“It sounds like everyone on both sides of the aisle isn’t happy,” said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

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