Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan spoke out on Thursday against a bipartisan bill that would allow agencies to charge more money to companies seeking federal clearances for mergers.
The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, introduced by Democratic Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse, passed the House 242-184. Two hundred three Democrats and 39 Republicans supported the bill, while 168 Republicans and 16 Democrats opposed it. The legislation would increase the fees companies pay to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, raising those agencies $1.4 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“The package before us today does nothing but empower the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Why would we support more funding for unaccountable officials in the Biden administration, particularly these two agencies, Department of Justice, in light what have we’ve seen from them over the past several months?” Jordan asked in a floor speech.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 29, 2022
Some Republicans, most notably Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, have argued that the DOJ and FTC should have more tools to go after big tech firms. They believe that the threat of antitrust enforcement can prevent online censorship that disproportionately impacts conservative users. (RELATED: House Republicans Launch ‘Freedom From Big Tech Caucus’)
“This is the kind of Washington budget gimmick that the swamp uses to grow government all the time. In the majority’s own committee report on the bill they acknowledge, quote, ‘the updated fee structure would provide the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission with additional resources to review mergers and enforce the antitrust laws,’” Jordan continued. “More money for Merrick Garland and the DOJ to harass the American people. Even proponents of the bill are talking about how this would get resources to the agencies while saying it doesn’t include an appropriation. This logic is laughable.”
Jordan, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, is conducting several investigations into the FBI. He has alleged that the bureau is retaliating against conservative agents and whistleblowers who have reached out to Congress with concerns about politicized investigations.