Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on Tuesday that he would no longer support the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bill that would create a media cartel to negotiate with big tech.
Paul was an original cosponsor of the JCPA; however, he told the Bowling Green Daily News that he opted out of the bill and introduced his own legislation, the Local News and Broadcast Media Preservation Act, as a replacement bill.
He said that he changed his mind by September 7, ahead of last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill, because the JCPA “mandates government arbitration and government involvement in the solution.”
The Kentucky conservative explained:
While I’m for newspapers and broadcasters being allowed to bargain collectively, I’m not for the government enforcing a final arbitrated solution. It may sound like a technicality, but it’s a pretty important part of this and so I’m going to keep working with the authors to see if they will come around to my way of thinking if they want my support.
Tonda Rush, director of public policy and general counsel for the Newspaper Association, said on Tuesday that arbitration is needed to put “teeth” in the bill.
Paul decided to withdraw his support for the JCPA following a delay after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sponsored an amendment to ensure that negotiations between media conglomerates and big tech do not discuss content moderation.
When the Cruz amendment passed, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) decided to delay the advancement of the bill.
Cruz said the bill’s delay was a “huge victory” for free speech.
“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.”