House Introduces 'Innovation' Act That Will Kill Innovation

from the not-great,-bob dept

A few weeks ago, we warned that Congress should not include the ridiuculously dangerous SHOP SAFE bill in the expected USICA bill. Unfortunately, Congress did not listen.

On Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi released the text of the renamed America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength Act of 2022 (or America COMPETES Act). This is for the bill that had already been renamed from Endless Frontiers to USICA. As we noted in our last post, the crux of the bill actually is really important — as it attempts to build out a much better infrastructure in the US for core research and development into science and technology. If the bill were actually just about that, I might support it.

But… the bill is an astounding 2912 pages long.

And with nearly 3,000 pages, you would be right in assuming that the House lit this thing up like a Christmas tree full of favors for certain members of Congress. And apparently that includes Rep. Jerry Nadler, who is the main sponsor of the SHOP SAFE Act, which is included in whole — with no changes, despite the widespread criticism — in the bill. If you’re trying to find it, it starts on page 1672 of the 2912 pages. In other words, buried almost directly in the middle. Gotta hide all the bad stuff, I guess.

There are a few other bad bills included in the COMPETES Act as well, but I’m not going to go through each and every bit of nonsense in the 3000 page bill right now. But I will note that the SHOP SAFE bit is not just actively dangerous, but it undermines the rest of the bill. It does the exact opposite of what’s on the tin: it will do significant damage to both innovation and competition, and basically lock in Amazon as the only place where people can sell stuff.

Nadler might as well have named it the “give Amazon a monopoly” Act. I have no idea why Speaker Pelosi would agree to put this piece of garbage in this bill, other than there must be a lot of favor trading going on. As policy expert Josh Lamel noted (accurately), this bill will make life really difficult for anyone who say, uses Etsy, in order to protect some giant European luxury brands who were asking for this nonsense bill in an attempt to control the online marketplace.

We’ve been talking about SOPA a lot in the past few weeks, and the SHOP SAFE is effectively a SOPA-level bad bill. It basically ends the open internet for selling, unless you’re willing to go through the largest platforms, which will have massive compliance rules that will make it close to impossible for small sellers. It’s madness.

And… for what? I guess this is an acknowledgement that Nadler can’t get SHOP SAFE passed through the regular methods, so he has to hang it on a giant bill to try to sneak it through. That alone is reason enough to reject it. This is the kind of nonsense that makes people cynical and distrustful of the political class, sneaking through bad bills that harm the public but favor giant companies. There’s plenty of good stuff in the COMPETES Act. And it’s all poisoned with nonsense favor bills like SHOP SAFE (and some others).

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Comments on “House Introduces 'Innovation' Act That Will Kill Innovation”

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Jojo (profile) says:

Pointless tangent here, but why on God’s good graces would you want to rename the “Endless Frontier bill” into a hideously boring name like COMPETE? That original name is so badass that 18 Republican senators joined in and agreed. CUM-PETE sounds like it wants to regulate the Compost overlords.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Par for the course. Many times, these people aren’t interested in actual fixed, they’re interested in the appearance of "doing something" about an issue they can grandstand about in the next election. Coming up with a cutesy acronym is important to that end, because they can then run on "my opponent voted against the America COMPETES ACT, so they hate American business!" without getting into pesky details.

The general rule of thumb – if the name of a piece of legislation is an awkward acronym, it probably does the opposite of what the name is intended to claim it does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Read that Republicans caught by surprise and were not briefed on the SHOP SAFE Act would be in the bill aswell as the cryptocurrency provisions

"but: Even though the Senate version — the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act — passed last year with considerable bipartisan support, it’s unclear if the House bill would get enough votes from Republicans, who seemed to be caught by surprise when it was released Tuesday night.

What they’re saying: "We have been in talks with House and Senate committees of jurisdiction for weeks, trying to put together a bipartisan bill that could pass Congress," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Axios.
"Rather than allowing those talks to play out, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and House Democrats have decided to torpedo the chance of a bipartisan, bicameral bill."
"Instead of focusing on strong consensus policies, she’s filled her package with poison pills with no bipartisan support," Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the House Science and Technology Committee, told Axios. "

This is from axios.

Blake C. Stacey (profile) says:

Between this, yesterday’s announcement that YouTube is teasing NFTs, the various moves in the UK and EU to regulate away encryption… does anyone else get the feeling that as far as being a potentially good thing, the Internet is, well, over? Like, there was this interval in history where it seemed like we could actually build this technology into something good for education, for communication and understanding, for commerce and competition, but now it’s "we’re building a surveillance state to benefit robber barons, and you’ll thank us for it".

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

NFTs are probably a self-correcting issue. The concept has some valid uses, but it’s not the one that’s been hyped up by the people making silly amounts of money from everyone trying to pile on to the next bandwagon. At some point in the fairly near future, the people spending millions on something they don’t understand will disappear and then it’s down to the actual use cases to sell themselves.

Similarly with encryption – if the worst case scenario happens and they do actually manage to do way with actually secure methods, then it probably won’t be long until that’s exploited and they’re forced to backtrack. I hope we don’t get there, but it’s unlikely that the damage done if they do can be avoided for long.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

One step forward, two dozen steps back

‘Our proposed bill will provide enough funding for every town large enough to have one more hospital built!’

‘Doesn’t it also include a provision that will effectively require the destruction of at least two other hospitals, no matter the town’s size?’

‘One more hospital!’

‘… yup, not even listening.’

It doesn’t matter how big a bag of candy is, nor how amazing it might taste, if you don’t just suspect but know that one piece in the bag is infused with enough cyanide to be instantly lethal and the only way to find out which is to eat them you throw that bag away.

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Welcome to the Beltway Bubble

I have no idea why Speaker Pelosi would agree to put this piece of garbage in this bill,

In the Beltway Bubble:

  • "The United States" consists of Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
  • The "Internet" consists of Facebook, Google, Twitter, and
  • "Small Business" is Gucci, Prada, BMW, and LVMH.
  • "Opportunity" is made using bank loans.
  • "Meritocracy" is the upward mobility of trading on your parent’s name.
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