Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus'

Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckGOP lawmakers demand answers on withheld restitution following Nassar revelation Hillicon Valley: Biden: Social media platforms 'killing people' | Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push | Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' MORE (Colo.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, is forming a new “Freedom From Big Tech Caucus” along with a handful of other GOP lawmakers who supported antitrust bills advanced by the committee last month, the congressman announced Friday.

Rep. Lance GoodenLance GoodenGOP lawmakers demand answers on withheld restitution following Nassar revelation Hillicon Valley: Biden: Social media platforms 'killing people' | Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push | Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' MORE (R-Texas) will serve as co-chairman of the caucus. Other founding members of the caucus include Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarPress: Inmates have taken over the asylum 57 House Republicans back Georgia against DOJ voting rights lawsuit Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' MORE (R-Ariz.). 

The caucus will aim to unite Republicans in Congress to “rein in Big Tech” through “legislation, education, and awareness.” 

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The announcement outlines a focus on antitrust reform, including restoring “the free and dynamic digital economy,” promoting “competition and innovation,” and supporting small businesses. 

Additionally, the caucus said it will aim to protect privacy and data rights, protect children from harmful content online and “end political censorship.” 

“Big Tech has abused its market power for decades, and Congress must act to hold these companies accountable and preserve the free market, promote competition and innovation, protect the freedom of speech, and foster a thriving digital economy,” Buck said in a statement. 

The formation of the caucus comes as rifts within the House GOP deepen amid the push to pass the six antitrust bills the Judiciary Committee advanced that aim to reform antitrust power and target tech giants. 

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Jordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 MORE (R-Ohio), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, opposed the bills, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPress: Inmates have taken over the asylum 58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (R-Calif.) has also voiced criticism of the legislative package. 

Amid the backlash, Jordan last week unveiled his own strategy for taking on Big Tech companies. Jordan’s agenda differed from the bills put forward by the committee, notably by calling for the Federal Trade Commission to be stripped of its antitrust enforcement authority. 

Democrats face their own challenges on the bills, especially among a group of California lawmakers who have opposed the bills that target the companies based in their Bay Area districts.