WASHINGTON – In a letter sent today, Chair Scott Brown and 17 center-right groups and thought leaders in the Competitiveness Coalition urged the “Big Four” congressional leaders to reject the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S.2992.

Citing record-high inflation, and concerns that the bill threatens the free and low-cost online services that consumers depend on, the signers ask Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to not move forward with the legislation.

“Passing this measure as our economy teeters on the brink of a recession and while China continues to nip at our heels, is akin to lighting a match next to a gas leak,” wrote the signers. “With uncertainty growing every day we urge you to reject S.2992 and instead take a solutions-focused approach to fix inflation, spur economic growth and further America’s global competitiveness.”

In recent weeks, the Competitiveness Coalition has ramped up its activity in Washington, D.C. and in the states. Meanwhile, Senator Schumer and other liberal leaders in Congress continue to push to hold a vote on S.2992 this summer. In addition to recently launching a television ad, the Competitiveness Coalition has mobilized against S. 2992 by generating thousands of phone calls and emails to offices of select lawmakers as well as digital advertisements in and around their home states.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below. For more information, please visit competitivenesscoalition.com. Members of the press can contact the coalition at [email protected].

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July 11, 2022

Dear Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

We write to you today as members of the Competitiveness Coalition, a group of organizations and individuals who champion pro-consumer policies to foster innovation and attract new investment. We are deeply concerned about the implications of S.2992 – the American Innovation and Choice Online Act – and urge against moving forward with the legislation.

Record-high inflation continues to erode Americans’ financial security, rippling through households and businesses of all sizes at levels we haven’t seen since the Carter Administration. All across the country, this cost-of-living crisis has become an unfortunate reality as families, taxpayers, and small business owners – who have already fought to stay afloat during the pandemic – struggle to afford household items while dipping into their emergency funds to pay their bills on time. A poll conducted by the Washington Post and George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government found that nearly 9 in 10 Americans have started bargain-hunting for cheaper products, and about three-quarters are cutting back on restaurants and entertainment.

A recent Wall Street Journal-NORC survey found 83% of respondents described the state of the economy as poor or not so good, and more than one-third (35%) said they aren’t satisfied at all with their financial situation – marking the highest level of dissatisfaction since NORC began asking the question every few years starting in 1972.

If passed by Congress during this moment of global unrest, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would deliver a detrimental and unnecessary blow to our economy and national security. The legislation throws cold water on future entrepreneurs and threatens the free and low-cost online services that consumers and job creators regularly use – like Google Docs, Amazon Prime, and even constituents’ iPhones – while opening up Americans’ private data to bad actors and foreign adversaries, such as the People’s Republic of China.

Indeed, high-ranking national security and intelligence officials have made clear that such antitrust policies would undermine our country’s technological advantage with China, threatening American companies’ ability to innovate.

Meanwhile, in its pursuit for global dominance, Beijing’s government is doubling down on efforts to supersede the United States by making investments in artificial intelligence, scientific research, quantum computing and more. Effectively, this legislation imposes on U.S. tech firms a stranglehold of unfair regulations, which are enforced by bureaucrats and based on vague standards, at a time when our nation is in fierce and ongoing competition with China.

Passing this measure as our economy teeters on the brink of a recession and while China continues to nip at our heels, is akin to lighting a match next to a gas leak. With uncertainty growing every day we urge you to reject S.2992 and instead take a solutions-focused approach to fix inflation, spur economic growth and further America’s global competitiveness.

Sincerely,

[Signed]

Scott Brown, Chair, Competitiveness Coalition

Brent Wm. Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Andrew F. Quinlan, President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director, Consumer Choice Center

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

Timothy Sandefur, Vice President of Litigation, Goldwater Institute

Mario H. Lopez, President of Hispanic Leadership Fund

Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union

Eric Peterson, Director Pelican Center for Technology

Wayne Brough, Policy Director for Tech and Innovation, R Street Institute

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Dan Savickas, Director of Tech Policy, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, The Committee for Justice

Dr. J. Robert McClure III, President & CEO, The James Madison Institute

Charles Sauer, President, The Market Institute

Casey Given, Executive Director, Young Voices

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