Chuck Schumer STALLS Vote – What’s He Waiting For?

Chuck Schumer Delays Important Antitrust Vote In Senate

Chuck Schumer Delays Important Antitrust Vote In Senate

( – Many businesses have a beef with Big Tech. Companies spend a lot of time and money marketing ads for their products on sites such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Some of the products are innovative, but untested. Others just sell well.

Over the last several years, allegations have arisen that the massive tech companies used algorithms to watch for profitable products. When they found items that sold well, they would then develope or place their label on similar products and undercut the price of the competitor marketing or selling on their platform, stifling competition. It’s a big win for them, but it hurts those who use their platform.

In May, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICO). If passed into law, the legislation would prevent large tech institutions from using data gleaned from competitor sales on their platforms to create an unfair, anti-competitive advantage. It would authorize federal antitrust agencies to levy civil penalties and other legal measures against the companies.

Bipartisan Bill Unlikely To Get Vote Before Election

The bill appears to have broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. Six Democrats and six Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee back the legislation. Still, it’s unlikely to get a vote in the upper chamber before the election. There are multiple theories as to why it may not happen.

Congress breaks on September 30 and won’t be back in session before the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8. The Constitution requires Congress to control the power of the government’s purse. On October 1, the new fiscal year begins, and lawmakers are unlikely to pass a budget before then. This means they will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) if they hope to avoid a government shutdown. So, this will take up much of the legislative focus. Grassley told Time that after the Senate passes the CR, it’s unlikely to do anything afterward.

Still, it doesn’t mean either chamber can’t pass the AICO. In the upper chamber, it’s entirely up to Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (D-NY), what he chooses to bring to the floor for a vote, and when it will occur. Klobuchar and Grassley say there are more than enough votes to pass it. Time noted that Pelosi wouldn’t take the lead ahead of an election and is deferring to the Senate.

So, what’s the problem?

Politics and Money May Be the Issue

While the bill waits to clear the Senate and the House is ready to move, other factors could be at play. In the first part of the year, the majority leader focused on passing Biden’s toned-down Build Back Better proposal in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act. Still, there may be more to it.

Big Tech is adamantly opposed to the AICO. Since 2021, they’ve spent almost $95 million on television and online ads suggesting the bill would harm innovation, consumers, and cybersecurity.

Some suggest corruption may be at hand. The world’s most profitable technology businesses have donated around $30,000 to Schumer’s campaign coffers. Is it a coincidence he’s holding the legislation back? Or could it be he wants to protect his vulnerable members from a political attack heading into the election?

Regardless, Klobuchar says the Senate will hold a vote to crack down on Big Tech. It just might happen after the midterms during the lame duck session.

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