Another Defeat for Democrat-Media Cronyism: JCPA Out of Omnibus Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks at a press conference on the Sen
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Although it is likely that wasteful spending will be well represented in the recently released trillion-dollar omnibus package, at least one act of corporate welfare did not make it into the bill: the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).

The JCPA would allow media companies to band together in a cartel, empowered to force arbitration agreements on Big Tech companies for financial handouts and other favors. The bill contains loopholes allowing the biggest media conglomerates to sideline conservative and independent competitors, ensuring Big Tech continues to favor the largest corporate media outlets over conservative alternatives.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) CPAC 2021

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)  (Photo by Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images)

Lobbyists for the world’s largest and wealthiest media companies pushed relentlessly for the JCPA over the course of the last congress, attempting to persuade lawmakers that the bill was a rescue package for struggling local journalists.

Breitbart News was one of the few voices in the media highlighting the bill’s true nature: a government-mandated gravy train from Silicon Valley tech giants to the nation’s most powerful media conglomerates, deepening the corrupt insider relationship between the two pinnacles of information control in the western world.

The bill attracted opposition from virtually every point on the political spectrum. Conservatives objected to the bill due to its obvious censorship loopholes. Media unions and the progressive left objected because the bill was a handout to the same hedge fund owners of media companies that have slashed staffing and pay across the industry. Libertarians objected because the bill forced one set of companies to fund another, infringing on the free market. And non-partisan experts objected because the bill upended free link-sharing, one of the core operating principles of the world wide web.

After failing to secure floor time for the bill over the course of the last Congress, media lobbyists attempted to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The NDAA, an annual bill to fund the U.S. military, is a “must-pass” bill: it has only been vetoed four times since it was first introduced in 1961. Democrats attempted to add all kinds of non-defense measures to the bill, including the JCPA, leading to a massive backlash that ultimately led to the JCPA provisions being removed.

The bill’s earliest opponents included 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).

As media lobbyists mounted a last-ditch effort to add the JCPA to the omnibus, more lawmakers came out against it.

Via Breitbart News:

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.

After a battle that spanned almost the entire length of the last Congress, the JCPA now appears to be on its last legs.  While it’s possible that they will attempt a renewed push for the legislation in the new Congress, they will face a Republican leadership in the House that is strongly opposed to the bill. Without floor time, and without a “must-pass”  bill to attach it to this month, the media industry and its cronies in Congress seem to have run out of options.

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.


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