Senators Highlight the JCPA’s Flaws, In Their Own Words

Washington, D.C (06/15/2023) – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA), despite senators from both sides of the aisle expressing concerns about the bill and urging that additional work be put into the legislation. 

Here are senators in their own words raising the alarm about the JCPA: 

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA)

“I absolutely fully agree with the bill’s stated goals. The decimation of local news is a disservice to our communities and I am deeply concerned…But here we are today, and the concerns I shared last year (about the JCPA) still have not been addressed. Instead, we’re considering the same bill with the same flaws…I think the bill both misdiagnoses the problems that led to the collapse of local news as we knew it and sets a startling and undesirable precedent…I am disappointed that the bill was scheduled for mark up before these issues could get worked out, because we raised them long ago, and I am disappointed we couldn’t improve the bill before it seems like it will be leaving Committee today.”

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)

“I, like many of my colleagues, have serious concerns with this bill. While I agree with the bill’s sponsors that local journalism has suffered…the fact that this bill will only make things worse is evident to me… 

“It will moreover distort news coverage of the political process as journalists will be dependent on this generous subsidy that’s conferred through this legislation, and it will end up favoring large conglomerate publishers over small, local publishers, allowing the big players to take revenue away from the smaller players. It does all of this by sanctioning the formation of cartels in the name of competition…

“Look, it just makes no sense. Speaker McCarthy…said this bill was dead in the House. It’s not hard to see why…This doesn’t do what it claims to do, and it causes a lot of harm.” 

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)

“I’m afraid that the bill would give…a free pass to censor the views of conservatives…The bill’s lead Democratic sponsor in the House last year even acknowledged this. He repeatedly stated that the bill was designed to combat so-called misinformation. I think we all know what that means.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

“The people who are voting ‘no’ probably have good reason…What did I say about all these bills? They’re going nowhere…They’re going absolutely nowhere. This very well may not be a good solution…Senator Lee and others – maybe this is not a good solution to a real problem.”

To see Don’t Break What Works’ previous statements on today’s hearing, click here

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