House Republicans bicker over post-midterm antitrust plans

Coverage Type: 

House Republicans’ “Big Tech Censorship and Data Task Force” presented its preliminary proposals to rein in major tech companies on March 16 — and a significant antitrust overhaul is not particularly high on the agenda. The task force, established in 2021 by Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and led by Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), is developing proposals on Section 230 reform and privacy for the GOP to mobilize around if the party takes back the lower chamber in November 2022. Republican lawmakers discussed their plans for Section 230 reform extensively, agreeing that legislation from McMorris Rodgers and Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) will likely serve as a framework for future efforts to reform the tech platforms’ liability shield. Rep Ken Buck (R-CO), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, said leaving out antitrust was a “glaring omission.” Buck said he asked the task force to consider supporting tech-related antitrust bills that passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in 2021 — legislation he co-sponsored. “We’ll see if they’re amenable to including those in a final report, and supporting the legislation in the future,” Buck said. But there’s reportedly little appetite among the broader caucus to take up Buck’s bills, particularly since they were the product of the House Judiciary Committee's 16-month bipartisan investigation into the tech giants.

House GOP bickers over post-midterm antitrust plans