Questions about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer being in a position of responsibility on whether to pursue antitrust legislation against Big Tech are not new, but a new report is bringing those concerns back to the front page.
In the face of the Democratic leader putting the brakes on the bills, the New York Post reported dozens and dozens of former Schumer staffers have been employed by Big Tech firms, citing publicly available filings of congressional staffers on LegiStorm, an online repository of data about congressional staffers and their compensation.
“More than 80 former paid staffers of the longtime New York lawmaker have leveraged their time with Schumer to secure prestigious jobs, working directly with companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple,” the newspaper reported.
An analysis of approximately 600 former paid Schumer staffers over the last 20 years was done, cross-referencing their employment history with publicly available lobbying registration data, LinkedIn profiles and company websites, the article noted.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in January to move The U.S. Internet Innovation and Choice Act and the Open Marketplace Apps Act forward, according to the Post, but both bills aimed at cracking down on Big Tech await Schumer’s blessing for a full Senate vote.
“Schumer doesn’t want to bring the bills to the floor,” said Matt Stoller, an antitrust expert and Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project. “If he brings them to the floor they’ll pass – if you want to kill this legislation without being overt you’d just stop it from being put up for a vote.”
The report comes on the heels of another from the Post that the liberal media has shown little interest in, which is that both of Schumer’s daughters are employed by the companies he’s supposed to be reining in.
Jessica Schumer’s New York state records list her as a registered lobbyist at Amazon, while Alison Schumer works at Facebook as a product marketing manager.
“When you put together the amount of money Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi made off tech with the fact that leader Schumer’s two kids work for giant tech companies, Democrats are going to have a very hard time explaining if major legislation doesn’t move forward this session,” a progressive operative told the paper in January.
“It’s not just a messaging problem,” the source continued. “It also raises substantive concerns. If you were a judge with a kid who worked for Facebook, you’d recuse yourself from the case.”
Schumer’s office moved to downplay the connection.
“If The Post wants to run a story about some ‘list’ related to Senator Schumer and tech, start with the one I provided detailing endless consumer wins, tough antitrust policies and legislative actions that defy, disprove and dropkick any notion of ‘outside influence,’” spokesman Angelo Roefaro said, giving the newspaper a list of actions the senator has taken to protect consumers.
The filling of a couple of key positions with anti-Big Tech candidates was also cited, but some are suggesting that Schumer has his eye on the midterm elections and does not want to “ruffle the feathers of his Big Tech benefactors,” according to the Post, which pointed to public filings to share that Google employees and the company’s PAC have donated around $200,000 to Schumer this election cycle.
“Schumer is the only person standing in the way of bipartisan legislation regulating Google, Apple, and Amazon,” a former Senate staffer said. “Given the staffers who work in Big Tech and money he’s raised from Big Tech there are deep concerns as to why he won’t move these bills forward.”
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