Last week as it appeared that the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was dead, Cruz stepped in and helped rescue it, even commending its authors.
“Let me commend the authors of this bill for the hard work they put in on an important issue,” said Cruz, who then claimed that the bill is a blow against the corporate power of Big Tech when really, it only deepens the already corrupt relationship between the 'mainstream' media and the tech giants.
The core of the bill, as is now widely known, is to allow media companies to form a legal cartel in the U.S., for the sole purpose of pressuring tech companies for special favors.
At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill today, Cruz said he worked closely with the lead Democrat sponsor of the bill, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (R-MN) to get his amendment through. Thanks to Cruz’s efforts, the media bailout bill was voted out of committee and may now face a floor vote.
“I’ve had extensive conversations with Senator Klobuchar, and sat down and heard her concerns, and we worked together on this amendment,” Cruz claimed.
But at a Senate hearing to discuss the legislation, a majority of Cruz's Republican colleagues spoke out against it, including Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. While he voted in favor of the amendment Cruz offered, he voted against voting the legislation out of committee.
“I am a little bit confused by the sponsors’ support for the amendment,” said Lee. “I applaud anything that restricts censorship by Big Tech, [but] I don’t think it does what the sponsors think it does.
“The bill retains the fundamental flaw of attempting to improve competition by sanctioning the formation of cartels, something that our antitrust laws go out of their way to prohibit," he added, according to Breitbart News. “Moreover, this bill ends up favoring large conglomerate publishers over smaller, local publishers."
Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also voted against the legislation.
Other Republicans who opposed to the bill include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who called it the "antithesis of conservatism."
“Attempts by big media and Democrats in Congress to collude and monopolize economic models poses a tremendous threat to free speech and a free press,” McCarthy told Breitbart News. “Never before has the opportunity been as open for startup news outlets as it is today. Americans now have more choices to get information and make decisions for their communities and elected leaders.
"That makes Democracy stronger and creates a whole new class of entrepreneurs that will also drive job growth. As we have seen in other industries, disrupters make legacy players uneasy and those legacy players are often willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto their market share and power. This is the antithesis of conservatism and House conservatives will fight for an open and free market — especially one that advances free speech and a free press," he noted further.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) added in a statement: “The Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) lets the media form a cartel to negotiate w/ big tech. Conservatives should oppose special treatment for favored industries, and a cartel will lead to more censorship. Republicans should vote NO on the JCPA."
The Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) lets the media form a cartel to negotiate w/ big tech.
Conservatives should oppose special treatment for favored industries, and a cartel will lead to more censorship.
Republicans should vote NO on the JCPA.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 21, 2022