Despite discrediting themselves in an ultimately futile effort to attach the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a massive handout for big media companies, to the annual defense funding bill, media lobbyists are now trying to slip the controversial bill into a potential omnibus package.
While it is still unclear if there will be an omnibus bill at all, sources on Capitol Hill tell Breitbart News that media lobbyists are actively contacting members in a last-ditch effort to latch the bill onto an omnibus if it does materialize.
This is despite the fact that the JCPA was delivered a crushing defeat after its backers in the Senate and House played games with national security with a failed attempt to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), despite no connection between the bill to the nation’s defense needs, and the presence of loopholes that would empower America’s foreign adversaries.
The purpose of the JCPA is to allow big media companies to form a cartel with the power to force Silicon Valley tech giants to give them financial handouts and other favors. The bill contains several provisions that would allow the biggest media conglomerates to sideline conservative and independent competitors, ensuring Big Tech continues to favor the largest corporate media outlets over conservative alternatives.
In addition to the bill’s earliest opponents, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mike Lee (R-UT), and Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve Scalise (R-LA), more Republicans in the House and Senate came out against the bill amid the failed NDAA push.
The incoming House Majority Whip, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), reportedly agrees with Rep. McCarthy’s position that the JCPA should not be included in any end-of-year omnibus.
Senator-elect Katie Britt (R-AL) also slammed the bill recently, saying it has “no place” in an omnibus bill.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, condemned the bill as a “barnacle” that should not be added to an omnibus or any other “must-pass” piece of legislation.
House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) also said the JCPA should not be lumped in with an omnibus, condemning the practice of attaching controversial bills to must-pass packages like the omnibus.
“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,” Rep. Cline told Breitbart News.
Breitbart News previously explained how the bill enables the suppression and sidelining of conservative media:
Even with the hastily-added Senate amendment aimed at addressing conservative concerns regarding collusion between the media industry and Big Tech on the censorship of competitors, the bill still contains plenty of ways for the cartel to sideline conservative media.
Provisions to ensure the cartel cannot discriminate on the basis of “viewpoint” are particularly unconvincing. The pretexts used by social media companies, “fact checkers,” and other arms of the corporate censorship apparatus are almost always viewpoint-neutral. No one is censored for being a conservative, say the censors: they are censored for “misinformation,” “hate speech,” “conspiracy theories,” and other purportedly viewpoint-neutral reasons.
The bill has attracted derision not just from conservatives but also from media unions, who correctly point out that the biggest beneficiaries of the bill would be large media conglomerates and their hedge fund owners — not frontline journalists or newsrooms.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.