Exclusive — Cruz Caves to Democrat Klobuchar on Media Cartel Bill

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has caved in to Democrats on legislation that would allow media organizations to form formal cartels to deal with big tech companies, several congressional aides and others familiar with the process said , told Breitbart News on Wednesday.

If Cruz proceeds with his plans to support the legislation — and allow the Senate to move forward — he will immediately become one of the main trailblazers of mainstream media and big-tech giants and could seriously jeopardize his political future.

Cruz, which a few weeks earlier blocked a committee bill on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), has now decided to give Klobuchar what she wanted and allow the Democrats’ proposal to eventually pass the Senate Judiciary Committee of the reviewed by the entire US Senate.

Several aides on both sides of the JCPA fight familiar with the matter told Breitbart News Wednesday that Cruz had relented to Klobuchar and agreed to changes in the language he offered in an amendment to allow the bill to move forward. When questioned repeatedly on Wednesday, the Cruz office did not deny the characterization of these aides.

Cruz himself has not responded to inquiries from Breitbart News texted directly to the senator. Several Cruz employees have declined to answer whether he made a deal with Klobuchar, and they have declined to make the senator available for an interview to explain themselves.

A Cruz spokesman, in response to detailed and serious questions about the possibility of a deal and the form of the deal, would only make a general statement, claiming that Cruz opposes censorship by conservatives — something that would be inherently untrue if he votes in favor or even just allows the Senate to consider that legislation.

“Sen. Cruz is a fierce supporter of the First Amendment and free speech, and he will always fight to ensure Americans are not censored or silenced,” the Cruz spokesman told Breitbart News.

Despite Cruz’s office refusing to answer specific questions about it, the Senate Judiciary Committee is again considering the JCPA Thursday — for the third straight week. Late Wednesday, the committee circulated a clarifying amendment that does exactly what the various committee assistants told Breitbart News that Cruz had caved in to Klobuchar: Changes the original Cruz amendment text and removes things Klobuchar said she didn’t can support.

The office of Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who previously undercut the broader bill supporting Cruz’s amendment in committee three weeks ago, confirmed Cruz backed down to Klobuchar on file with the Daily Caller News Foundation. Proponents of the JCPA — like Kennedy and now Cruz — have falsely claimed it would help conservatives resist big tech. The law fails to include a preferred nations clause alongside the serious structural issues, meaning a group of media companies could band together on their own and negotiate a sweetheart deal with a big tech company, but that deal wouldn’t work for every media company are valid.

Kennedy’s office said in a statement accompanying that release:

We reached an agreement that clarifies what the bill was intended to achieve: to give local news outlets a real seat at the negotiating table and to bar tech companies from throttling, filtering, suppressing or curating content. The only reason I see the parties opposing this law is because they either have a problem with healthy competition in the marketplace or with free speech.

The original Cruz amendment a few weeks ago complicated efforts by the bill’s supporters to get the proposal out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This was because Democrats like Klobuchar opposed it, while Kennedy supported them — as did other JCPA GOP co-sponsors. Coincidentally, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) was stranded in India infected with the coronavirus and had not designated proxy voting for himself, so the Cruz amendment was included in the bill and GOP co-sponsors Kennedy and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and supporter Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were unwilling to vote for the bill without Cruz’s amendment. As such, a visibly angry Klobuchar withdrew her own bill – and she tried again last week, to no avail. Now, thanks to Cruz’s lair, she’ll likely succeed on committee if she tries again Thursday morning.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/09/21/exclusive-ted-cruz-caves-to-democrat-amy-klobuchar-on-media-cartel-bill/ Exclusive — Cruz Caves to Democrat Klobuchar on Media Cartel Bill

Linh

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