In an unexpected turn of events Wednesday evening, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) circulated an updated amendment regarding the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) which was a modified version of the amendment he had previously distributed the week before to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The updated amendment contained revised language that removed things that Democrat Amy Klobuchar had previously stated she could not support. The change in language is likely to allow the bill to advance out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and be considered by the full Senate.
The bill would allow media organizations to band together to negotiate deals with Big Tech. Many Republicans are against the proposed bill because it lacks a favored nations clause that would mandate fair negotiations for all media organizations.
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Several aides on both sides of the JCPA debate confirmed that Cruz gave in to Klobachur and agreed to change the language of the amendment to allow it to pass through the Judiciary Committee. When asked about the aides’ confirmation of the agreement, Cruz’s spokesperson told Breitbart, “Senator Cruz is a fierce defender of the First Amendment and free speech and he will always fight to prevent Americans from being censored or silenced.”
Both Senator Cruz and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) argue that the bill would help conservatives fight Big Tech. Senator Kennedy told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “We have reached an agreement that clarifies what the bill was designed to do: give local news outlets a real seat at the negotiating table and bar the tech firms from throttling, filtering, suppressing, or curating content. The only reason I can see for parties to oppose this bill is that they have a problem either with healthy market competition or free speech.”
The JCPA is set to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration for the third week in a row on Thursday where it is likely to pass through to be considered by the full Senate due to the revised amendment.