Republican Ken Buck of Colorado speaks during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The top Republican on the House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee leads six of his colleagues who swear off campaign donations from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., The senior member of the subcommittee, announced the “Pledge for America” on Wednesday and urged his colleagues to follow up on his earlier commitment to turn down big tech money. Those who sign agree not to accept donations from companies that violate their “free market and free exchange” beliefs.
“The threat from these monopolies is a real and present threat to conservatives, libertarians and anyone who disagrees with the ultra-liberal positions of these companies,” the pledge reads.
Representative Chip Roy, R-Tex., Greg Steube, R-Fla., Dan Bishop, RN. C., Ralph Norman, RS.C., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. And Burgess Owens, R-Utah. Everyone signed the promise.
The move is symbolic, at least in part, as some of the companies have already paused donations from their political action committees, as several companies decided to do after the January 6th Uprising in the U.S. Capitol. Amazon and Google have both paused their PACs’ posts to members who voted against confirming election results to confirm President Joe Biden’s victory. This includes several signatories: Biggs, Bishop, Norman, Owens, and Steube.
Facebook has paused all donations from its PAC. Apple doesn’t have a PAC, and Twitter closed its PAC in November after it was dormant for years.
However, the pledge limits donations not only from companies and their PACs, but also from executives who work for them. It is the latest signal that conservatives are serious about cracking down on what they believe to be problems with technology platforms, including allegedly censoring their positions and monopolizing internet markets.
Buck was a close ally of Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, DR.I. Although the two differed slightly in terms of the extent of remedial action they deem necessary to reinvigorate competition in digital markets, thanks to the subcommittee’s investigation of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, the two are closely related the root of the damage remained aligned by the platforms. Both have pledged to work in a non-partisan way on the introduction of new laws to reform the enforcement of antitrust law.
The companies named in the pledge declined to comment or did not respond immediately.
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