Exclusive — Ben Cline: End ‘Status Quo’ by Ensuring Bills Like Media Cartel Bill Not ‘Lumped’ in Spending Bills

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) asks questions during a House Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss police brutality and racial profiling on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. - The brother of George Floyd, whose killing by police sparked worldwide protests against racism, made an emotional plea to the US Congress Wednesday to "stop …
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Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement that the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) should not be considered in a must-pass spending bill.

“Allowing important and potentially controversial legislation to be attached to a must-pass spending bill without proper debate or consideration is business as usual for Washington. This makes it difficult for lawmakers to properly scrutinize the bills and fully analyze the consequences for their constituents,” Cline explained to Breitbart News. “If we want to end the status quo in Washington and best represent the American people whom we were elected to serve, we must ensure that legislation is considered on their own merits, rather than lumped with unrelated spending bills.”

Cline’s comment follows as an increasing number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have voiced opposition to any efforts to include the highly controversial JCPA in an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution.

The JCPA would create an antitrust exemption to allow media companies to collectively bargain with big tech, in an attempt to increase their advertising revenue. Detractors of the bill contend that it would empower media conglomerates and would even lead to more censorship of conservatives.

The bill has gained more controversy as Democrat congressional leadership and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have tried to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), politicizing a bill focused on authorizing spending for America’s troops.

On Friday, House Majority Whip-elect Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) will oppose any efforts to include the JCPA in an end-of-year must-pass spending bill.

“Majority Whip-elect Emmer agrees with Speaker-elect McCarthy that JCPA shouldn’t be included in must-pass spending bills,” a source familiar told Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle.

In Congress’s upper chamber, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Breitbart News on Thursday that the JCPA should be considered “standalone” and should be “crammed in” must-pass spending bills.

Braun explained, “I think any of this is an indication of a broken system. Everything’s done behind closed doors by committee chairs that do very little work in committees on any of these bills. And I think that’s one of the reasons they don’t get fully vetted. They don’t get the pros and cons worked out with it. If you got enough clout, you tried to get it shoved into something it’s got to go through. I think it’s another indicator of what’s wrong with the system.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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