An advocacy group has sent mobile billboards to Chuck Schumer’s DC and Brooklyn homes to persuade the Senate majority leader to schedule a vote on bipartisan antitrust laws that will curb the facility of Big Tech platforms.
The truck-mounted ads arrived on the Democrat’s residences on Saturday promoting MakeSchumerWatchJohnOliver.com, which hosts a 26-minute clip of the HBO host John Oliver promoting the laws.
“Everyone knows that Democrats are facing a decent election yr, and I just don’t think that he can afford to fumble one other major effort like this,” said Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, which paid for the ads.
“He needs to begin acting like a majority leader, not a minority leader,” Greer told The Post. “Chuck Schumer is the one thing standing between these bills and passage.”
There are two major pending antitrust bills that will rein in anti-competitive practices by corporations like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
One in every of the bills — the American Innovation and Alternative Online Act — passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January in a 16-6 vote. The bill was supported by all the panel’s Democrats and five Republicans.
The ads include a link to a video of HBO host John Oliver promoting the bipartisan laws.Erald Kraja/Fight for the Future
A related bill, the Open App Markets Act, is anticipated to be considered at the identical time.
Most bills within the Senate need 60 votes to proceed. Nonetheless, advocates note that many Republicans are sponsors, suggesting they could give you the option to pass.
“He could drop them on the ground tomorrow and they’d pass,” Greer said.
The John Oliver segment touts the bills while stating that Schumer’s daughters work at corporations that will be impacted by the laws. Jessica Schumer is a registered lobbyist at Amazon and Alison Schumer works at Facebook as a product marketing manager.
“You’ve gotten to begin taking a look at ‘why might Chuck Schumer be so considering protecting these Big Tech corporations from commonsense bipartisan regulation?’” Greer said. “Our hope is that it’s only a timing thing and he’s going to get the message and stop stalling and put these bills on the ground, because everyone knows when these bills hit the ground, they’re going to pass.”
The billboards push for a vote on the American Innovation and Alternative Online Act and Open App Markets Act.Erald Kraja/Fight for the Future
Schumer spokesman Angelo Roefaro told The Post, “Senator Schumer supports this bill and is working with Senator Klobuchar to get the votes.”
A Capitol Hill Democratic source said that the bill may not currently have the votes to pass either chamber of Congress, despite broad bipartisan support in committee.
Among the many issues are tweaks demanded this month by 4 Democrats — Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Ben Ray Luján of Latest Mexico and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin — to forestall the laws from curbing content moderation practices. Many conservatives accuse Big Tech platforms of engaging in politically motivated censorship.
In May, a top aide to a different Democrat, Sen. Maggie Hassan of Latest Hampshire, reportedly raised objections to the laws on a conference call.
But Greer said it was “totally bogus” to say that the votes aren’t there. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who’s the lead sponsor, said recently she has enough votes for passage.
“We consider that these bills are essential for fighting for a future where technology is a force for good and for empowerment and innovation and upliftment, reasonably than a force for tyranny and greed,” Greer told The Post.
“We’re going to do all the things in our power to get these bills passed. And so long as Sen. Schumer stays the speed bump stopping them from moving forward, we’re going to be continuing to deal with him and inspiring everyone else to deal with him and pressuring him to do the fitting thing and move these historic bills to a vote.”
The videos note that Schumer’s daughters work at corporations that will be impacted by the laws.Erald Kraja/Fight for the Future
Antitrust laws going after Big Tech has rare bipartisan support.
The American Innovation and Alternative Online Act, which might ban platforms like Amazon and Google from unfairly squelching the products of rival corporations, is co-sponsored by six Republicans: Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Steve Daines of Montana. A seventh Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, supported it in committee.
The associated Open App Markets Act, which might restrict Google and Apple from rigging their smartphone app stores against competitors, has a few of the same sponsors, plus two additional Republicans, Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Other Republicans want strict regulations to make sure the free flow of knowledge and commerce. For instance, laws from Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) would declare certain platforms to be “common carriers” that would not discriminate based on content. That approach dusts off a policy historically applied to railroads.