House Votes For COMPETES Act, Even With Its Problems, Almost Entirely On Party Lines
from the that's-too-bad dept
Congress is trying to overload anyone who supports an open internet with terrible bill after terrible bill. Last week, they brought out the “COMPETES Act” (renamed from Endless Frontiers which had already been renamed as “USICA” and then became COMPETES). The underlying concept of the bill actually is important — reviving American innovation. The Senate version of the bill was mostly good and had broad bipartisan support. However, for reasons I don’t understand, Nancy Pelosi allowed the bill to be loaded up with a bunch of items on the Democrats’ wish list, including the ridiculously dangerous SHOP SAFE Act.
This week, of course, we’ve been stuck dealing with the reintroduction of the also terrible EARN IT Act in the Senate, and while all of the open internet activists were gearing up to fight that, the House went ahead and voted to approve the COMPETES Act with no changes. It was an almost strict party-line vote, ending up at 222 for and 210 against. One Democrat — Rep. Stephanie Murphy — voted against it, and one Republican — Rep. Adam Kinzinger (who technically is still a Republican) voted for it.
This all seems so incredibly counterproductive by Pelosi and the Democrats. I know they want a “win” and when there’s a bill that will move they feel they need to hang all sorts of gifts on it, but following the Senate’s lead and coming up with a more reasonable bill that wasn’t stuff full of bad ideas would have presented this as an actually interesting and useful bill, rather than turning it into a partisan thing. Politics is where policy goes to die. And, unfortunately, it may take parts of the open internet with it.
That said, the Senate version does not have the nonsense and dangerous SHOP SAFE bill attached, and the hope is that during the conference process where the House and Senate try to square up the different bills, SHOP SAFE will get left on the cutting room floor, where it belongs.