Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Breitbart News on Thursday the delay of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was a “huge victory for free speech” and an indictment of how much Democrats “love censorship.”
“What happened today was a huge victory for the First Amendment and free speech. Sadly, it is also a case study in how much the Democrats love censorship,” Cruz said in his exclusive statement to Breitbart News. “They would rather pull their bill entirely than advance it with my proposed protections for Americans from unfair online censorship.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee was slated to vote on the JCPA, a bill that would create an antitrust exemption for the establishment media industry to negotiate with big tech platforms.
However, many lobbyists and advocates for the bill, such as News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), have noted move bill would be used to suppress “misinformation.”
As the Senate Judiciary Committee considered amendments to the bill, Cruz offered one to ensure that when big tech platforms and media cartels negotiate, they cannot consider content moderation practices.
The amendment reads:
At the end of section 5, add the following:
LIMITATION REGARDING CONTENT MODERATION POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES.—The exemptions from the application of the antitrust laws under this section shall not apply with respect to an eligible digital journalism provider, joint negotiation entity, or covered platform if, on or after the date on which the applicable negotiations under section 3 commence, the eligible digital journalism provider, joint negotiation entity, or covered platform, respectively, engages in any discussion of the content moderation policies, practices, or procedures of the eligible digital journalism provider, joint negotiation entity, or covered platform, respectively, with any eligible digital journalism provider, joint negotiation entity, or covered platform.
Cruz’s amendment led to confusion between two chief advocates of the bill, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA), as Kennedy wanted to support the amendment.
Klobuchar even pleaded with Kennedy not to support the amendment so the bill does not get derailed.
She said, “Senator Kennedy, we’ve worked on this for months, we won’t be able to support the Cruz amendment here.”
After the vote, Cruz managed to get his amendment in the bill, as Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), who was not at the hearing, did not designate a proxy, and could not block the Cruz amendment.
Klobuchar decided to delay the final vote on the bill to advance it out committe.
She said, “The agreement that we had has been blown up.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.