Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar sharply questioned Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. She claimed that her colleague’s statement about federal agencies opposing a bipartisan tech antitrust bill was unfounded.
Klobuchar challenged Feinstein to clarify how she knew that President Joe Biden’s administration was allegedly against the proposed bill. The legislation was supported across bipartisan lines, including by Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act targeting tech companies for allegedly anti-competitive behavior along with Klobuchar.
“Are you implying, Sen. Feinstein, that the U.S. government, that the administration is against this bill?” Klobuchar asked. “You just said that federal agencies ‘had concerns,’ and I would like to know if you have some knowledge that I do not know.”
Feinstein replied that she had no such knowledge, but was “told that federal agencies have concerns about these provisions.”
An intense moment as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers a sweeping antitrust bill:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) goes after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), whose state is home to tech giants lobbying against the bill, for implying Biden admin. figures privately oppose it. pic.twitter.com/WbJavYNCPV
— The Recount (@therecount) January 20, 2022
“That is a bold statement. That is a bold statement,” Klobuchar said, interrupting her fellow Democrat.
“Well, I’m sorry,” Feinstein continued. “It’s what I think, and I thought we’re able to say what I have been told that. And you may not like it.”
The Minnesota senator then confirmed that she did not like what Feinstein claimed and went on to say that her allegations were “not true.” (RELATED: Tech Giants Warn Antitrust Bills Will ‘Break’ Popular Services, Threaten Security)
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act in a 16-6 vote Thursday, with Feinstein ultimately voting for the bill, according to The Hill. The bill, intended to target Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple, now moves to the Senate floor.
If passed, it would prevent major online platforms from discriminating against competitors and prioritizing their own services in search results or through algorithmic manipulation.