Powerful House Democrats Push Lawmaker With Big Tech Ties For Key Tech Oversight Position

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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A group of Latino House Democrats is pressuring leadership to give a congressman with close ties to large technology companies a key position on the subcommittee tasked with holding tech giants accountable.

The executive committee of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) wrote a letter Tuesday to Democratic congressional leadership supporting Democratic California Rep. Lou Correa to become the new ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on antitrust.

“Rep. Correa is a reliable and active Member of CHC, and he has served as a strong and enthusiastic Member on the House Judiciary Committee. He has fought hard for the working class communities that make up his district and delivered reforms to meet their needs,” the members wrote.

Signatories include CHC Chair Nanette Barragan of California, CHC Deputy Chair Adriano Espaillat of New York and CHC Whip Sylvia Garcia of Texas. (RELATED: Dan Crenshaw Invests In Big Tech Stocks Ahead Of New Congress)

Correa is the frontrunner to become the subcommittee’s new ranking member, CNBC previously reported based on four sources who spoke anonymously about private discussions.

Correa is closely tied with the tech industry and raised about $17,000 from political action committees affiliated with companies such as Amazon, Meta and Google, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

He was endorsed in 2022 by the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which opposes antitrust legislation and also received financial support from Amazon, Meta and Google. The Chamber has contributed $16,000 to Correa’s congressional campaigns since 2019, FEC records show.

“Congressman Correa believes that every American deserves to live out their American Dream—by getting a good education without financial burden, finding, and keeping, a good-paying job, and keeping food on the table without sacrifice—and believes he can continue fighting for those values leading this subcommittee,” a spokesperson for Correa told the Daily Caller. “He also believes his previous professions as a banker, attorney, and real estate broker—being exposed to bankruptcy and commercial law and the impacts on everyday people looking to make their own American Dream—would have prepared him for the job.”

“Amongst his colleagues, he holds a strong reputation as a reasonable, hard-working member who works tirelessly for his constituents and his state. Having been encouraged by many of his colleagues already, and should he be called on to serve, he stands ready and will always step up to bat to defend those values,” the spokesperson continued.

Correa previously opposed bipartisan antitrust legislation proposed by his predecessor, former Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who left Congress at the start of June. When Cicilline was chair of the subcommittee in the 116th and 117th Congress, he led an investigation large technology companies and proposed antitrust reforms to increase competition in digital markets. (RELATED: ‘Funding For Unaccountable Officials’: Rep. Jim Jordan Speaks Out Against Big Tech Antitrust Bill)

In 2022, Cicilline and Republican Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a former subcommittee ranking member, got a package of bipartisan antitrust reforms through the subcommittee, despite Correa leading the opposition alongside California Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Eric Swalwell, the Washington Post reported.

Three of the bills, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, Foreign Merger Subsidy Disclosure Act and State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, were passed by the House in October 2022 with bipartisan support. The antitrust measures were signed into law as part of the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill passed in Dec. 2022.

Correa attributed his stance on the legislation to the jobs created by the tech giants in California and Amazon’s plans to expand operations in his district.

“The answer to these questions should be about Main Street, and not about Wall Street or and not about [sic] D.C.’s beltway. This is about jobs and our constituents,” Correa said in a June 2021 press release. “In 2010, four percent of Californians worked directly in tech. Today, that number is about twelve percent or just under 2 million jobs held by real Californians. This number is even greater when we factor in the millions of workers who support these industries and communities.”

“In my district, small businesses depend on services provided by these tech companies. Amazon has opened a distribution center and is looking to open a few more. These are good-paying jobs with benefits,” Correa added.