LOS ANGELES – At a Code Conference interview with Kara Swisher, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) discussed the latest progress on her bipartisan legislation to restore competition online, her bipartisan bill to strengthen local journalism, and her recent bipartisan trip to Ukraine. Code, co-founded and hosted by Swisher, is an annual conference that convenes top business and technology leaders.
Klobuchar expressed confidence about the passage of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, her bipartisan tech competition bill with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), despite technology companies’ misleading claims and advertising campaigns: “There has been an incredible amount of money that I’m up against. I’m not naive about the whole David v. Goliath thing… but I wouldn’t count us out for a minute.”
Klobuchar highlighted the need to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, her bipartisan bicameral legislation to address dominant online platforms’ power over news organizations: “We have to allow these news organizations to get better rates for content, and that means allowing them to band together…and negotiate…A little newspaper in Worthington, Minnesota…can’t exactly take on what those content rates are. Yet, we all want our towns to have some coverage of their city councils and high school football games.”
Klobuchar also spoke about her trip to Ukraine with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) last week. The senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and traveled to Bucha and Irpin, the sites of horrific Russian atrocities earlier this spring. “We have kept their people fed, we have kept their economy going, and we have given them what they need to fight this war when everyone had counted them out,” said Klobuchar. “When you are there and you see the bravery of their people, you come back with a whole different perspective… because you see people that are willing to give it all.”
In October, Klobuchar and Grassley introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to set commonsense rules of the road for major digital platforms to ensure they cannot unfairly preference their own products and services. In January, the legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16-6, making it the first major bill on technology competition to advance to the Senate floor since the dawn of the internet.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, Center for American Progress, Consumer Reports, the Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, leading national security experts, leading antitrust legal scholars, small business organizations, and over 60 small and medium-sized companies and trade associations, including Spotify, Wyze, FuboTV and Quora.
The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Jack Reed (D-RI).