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Republicans Join Democrats On Bill Allowing News Outlet To Negotiate Pay With Big Tech

 |  June 15, 2023

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would allow news organizations to negotiate with dominant tech platforms for fair compensation for distributing their content.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was advanced by the panel in a 13-7 vote. The bill’s lead GOP sponsor, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with most Democrats, voted in favor of advancing the bill.

According to The Hill, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) was the sole Democrat on the panel who voted against moving forward with the bill.

The proposal received bipartisan support in the previous session, but it did not make it to a floor vote before the session ended.

Related: Republicans And Democrats, Unite Against Big Tech Abuses

A significant issue brought up by opponents of the bill was related to content moderation.

Opponents of the measure contended that it could result in companies censoring content due to an alleged anti-conservative bias.

“I’m afraid the bill would give media and Big Tech companies a free pass to censor the views of conservatives,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said.

The bill contains a provision that aims to prevent news discrimination by tech companies based on content viewpoint. However, Cotton expressed concerns that the bill may not effectively prevent collective censorship of conservative views and voices by media and Big Tech companies through various backdoors.