Lawmakers Pushing for White House Action on Big Tech Issues

Lawmakers Pushing for White House Action on Big Tech Issues

( – Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on many issues, but concerns about the wide-reaching power Big Tech holds in modern society is bringing them somewhat together. While both sides believe legislation plays a vital role in reigning these companies in, America’s two largest political parties rarely find common ground on potential solutions. Many lawmakers are pushing for the White House to step in by enacting restrictive legislation, but could they end up getting more than they bargained for?

A Growing Rift

The Wall Street Journal reports that a significant number of citizens and leaders think the White House needs to become more involved in the conversation about ongoing concerns with Big Tech. They feel strongly enough about the repeated transgressions that only a rapid response from the government will do.

Yet, not everyone agrees with this position. Others feel the Constitution prevents the government from stepping in to sanction private companies, insisting that such matters fall under the First Amendment and amount to free speech. They worry it would initialize a slippery slope into government overreach at a time when many sites and platforms seem all too happy to censor Conservative voices. Could such measures be abused to control the narrative?

Biden’s Stance

President Joe Biden has mostly stayed out of the way of Big Tech legislation, instead focusing his energy on the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act. However, the White House does have a history of supporting restrictions on Big Tech.

The president has been vocal about supporting the revision of Section 230. This law protects platforms from liability for content posted by users. Biden feels they need more accountability and wants reforms to help move towards that goal.

Senator John Thune (R-SD) said he hopes the president does step in because there is a need for strong leadership on this topic.

A Good Example

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992), which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary in October 2021, could benefit from President Biden’s direct involvement. It seeks to prevent Big Tech companies from discriminative tactics, including giving preferential treatment to their own products and services over competitors.

Introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), S. 2992 seeks to allow fairness and provide small businesses with the opportunity to succeed in the online marketplace against major conglomerates. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Cowen Washington Research Group representative said the legislation has a much better chance of passing if Biden puts his support behind it.

Moving Forward

Lawmakers have many topics to tackle, including privacy, antitrust issues, transparency, and accountability. They also seek to make platforms responsible for pushing users to create sensational content to drive traffic and increase user bases and profits. Legislative actions also target safety for young users, data collection, and market dominance.

Democrats generally prefer to back tighter restrictions on Big Tech, while Republicans usually take a lighter approach due to concerns about restricting free speech. This divide explains why some people are hesitant to see President Joe Biden step in. Is that truly the right approach, or might it lead to policies that cause an even greater divide among Americans?

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