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House Republicans' top conservatives disagree over package of bills aimed to crackdown on Big Tech

Rep. Jim Jordan, the committee's top Republican, opposes the effort, which is supported by fellow GOP members Rep. Gaetz, Roy, Spartz.

Updated: June 24, 2021 - 10:01am

The House Judiciary Committee is pushing ahead this week with the drafting and voting on a bipartisan package of measures aimed to curb the market power of such tech giants as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.

The committee late Wednesday night passed two of the six measures. 

Conservative Republicans on the committee haggled over language in the bills and pushed concerns about anti-conservative bias in online platforms but couldn’t stop the bipartisan momentum behind the package, according to the Associated Press. 

Many Republican lawmakers denounce the market dominance of Big Tech but don’t support a major overhaul of antitrust laws.

One bill would make the tech giants to sever their dominant platforms from their other lines of business.

One measure approved by the committee would increase the budget of the Federal Trade Commission, despite objections from the conservative members about the additional money giving the agency more power, the wires service also reports.

The second to pass gives states greater powers over companies in determining the courts in which to prosecute tech antitrust cases. 

The new proposals "make it worse," said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the committee’s top Republican and among Congress’ most conservative members. “They don’t break up Big Tech. They don’t stop censorship.”

However, the measures have support from GOP committee member Rep. Ken Buck, of Colorado who introduced the bills.

The bills also have support from fellow Republicans on the committee as Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Chip Roy of Texas, and Victoria Spartz on Indiana.

"Unfortunately, several Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee (have) failed to join their courageous colleagues in this effort," Buck said again Wednesday. "What is their reasoning for refusing to join a single bipartisan bill to rein in Big Tech? The time for talking is over. Now’s the time for House Republicans to choose: Will they support or oppose trillion-dollar Big Tech monopolists who are canceling conservatives and crushing small businesses?" 

Buck's office said such non-committee members as Burgess Owens of Utah and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina also support the effort.