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Digital Advocacy Group Demands Ouster of Rep. Correa from Antitrust Committee Leadership

 |  December 3, 2023

The digital rights advocacy organization Fight for the Future has called on House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to remove Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) from his post as the ranking member of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. The exclusive letter, disclosed to The Hill, alleges Correa’s overt hostility toward antitrust reform efforts, asserting that he stands in stark contrast to the majority of the Democratic caucus and President Biden’s objective of reining in anticompetitive behavior by powerful corporations.

While acknowledging Rep. Correa’s contributions in other areas, such as championing abortion rights, Fight for the Future contends in its letter, dated Friday, that his leadership on the antitrust committee has been at odds with critical priorities. This latest move underscores the growing discontent among progressives with Correa’s position on antitrust reform.

Correa assumed the role of ranking member in June, succeeding then-Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a prominent advocate for antitrust reform targeting major tech corporations. Fight for the Future points to Correa’s vote against advancing bipartisan antitrust reform bills in June 2021, aligning with other California Democrats. The group also highlights actions taken by Correa since taking on this leadership role, characterizing them as indicative of his “hostility to efforts to rein in corporate abuses.”

One specific incident mentioned in the letter took place during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in September, where Correa allegedly echoed talking points from the Chamber of Commerce and Big Tech-affiliated groups, criticizing the Biden administration and the European Union’s antitrust efforts.

Fight for the Future further emphasizes Correa’s critical stance toward Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, particularly in their proposed merger guidelines. The group concludes that, despite months in his role, Correa’s opposition to antitrust enforcement and the Biden Administration’s competition agenda remains unwavering.

In response to the digital rights group’s call for his removal, a spokesperson for Correa issued a statement asserting his unanimous support among Democratic colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the backing of Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

This demand to remove Correa from subcommittee leadership adds a new layer to the ongoing debate within the Democratic Party regarding the approach to antitrust reform, particularly concerning technology giants and corporate power.

Source: The Hill