Exclusive — House Majority Whip-Elect Tom Emmer Opposes Inclusion of Media Cartel Bill JCPA in Spending Plan

UNITED STATES - APRIL 16: Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., walks down the House steps after the last vote of the week in the Capitol on Friday, April 16, 2021. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Majority Whip-elect Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) will oppose any efforts to include the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in the end-of-year spending bill, Breitbart News has learned.

A source familiar with the matter told Breitbart News that Emmer will join House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely next speaker of the House, to oppose any efforts to include the highly controversial plan in an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution.

“Majority Whip-elect Emmer agrees with Speaker-elect McCarthy that JCPA shouldn’t be included in must-pass spending bills,” the source familiar with Emmer’s position told Breitbart News.

The JCPA is a measure that would create an antitrust exemption in federal law to allow media companies to band together to create cartels to collectively bargain with Big Tech companies, ostensibly to force tech companies to pay for their content. While proponents argue it may restrain the power of Big Tech, critics point to serious structural flaws in the legislation that would empower big media companies and undercut conservatives, leading to even more censorship of conservatives.

Emmer’s opposition to the proposal—and to any efforts to attach it to the spending bill at the end of year—comes as McCarthy and incoming House Majority Leader Steve Scalise oppose the plan and attaching it to any must-pass bills as well.

The unity of House GOP leadership against this means it is very unlikely that proponents of the JCPA will be able to find the votes necessary to succeed in getting it into either an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution—whichever route Congress takes at the end of this year in the lame duck Congress to fund the government and prevent a shutdown.

It also comes after congressional leaders failed in their effort to add the JCPA to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this week. They had it in the bill as of Monday morning, but by Tuesday evening, when the text was published, it was stripped. The removal came after severe blowback against the efforts to include the JCPA in the NDAA.

Without attaching it to a must-pass vehicle—the NDAA route is already gone for proponents of JCPA, as the NDAA has now passed the House without it—the road to passage before the end of the year becomes even slimmer. Senate Democrat leadership would need to burn significant floor time to take up the measure, which has no guarantee of passage on a standalone basis even if they do waste the precious floor time before the end of the year. What’s more, while it has–after an extremely rocky process–cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House has not even begun consideration of it. The House Judiciary Committee has yet to even begin marking up the plan, and before that chamber would take up the JCPA and waste floor time there, the committee would likely need to consider it more closely. As the clock is ticking fast to the end of the Democrats’ majority in the House and time is running out, it looks more and more likely that JCPA might be going the way of the dinosaurs.

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