EXCLUSIVE: Top Republicans torch FTC for 'partisan changes' that will harm consumers
The top House Republicans on Thursday blew up the Democrat-led Federal Trade Commission, criticizing it for unfairly consolidating the authority of the authorities, expanding regulators in part, and abandoning bipartisan transparency processes.
The Washington Examiner received a letter sent to the five FTC commissioners, including three Democrats and two Republicans, showing that top Republicans on relevant committees are attacking the agency's recent actions and asking for relevant documents that the Trade Commission has to offer could better hold them accountable.
Republican chairman of the House of Representatives' Energy and Trade Committee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, senior member of the House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan of Ohio, and senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, James Comer of Kentucky, said the three Democratic commissioners of the trade commission, led by chairman Lina Khan, a new Biden candidate who is a vocal anti-monopoly, is using the agency to advance partisan goals.
"These partisan changes will enable the Biden FTC to radically reshape the American economy and ultimately harm American consumers, workers, small businesses and free enterprise traditions," they wrote.
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The letter highlighted that during the first FTC meeting under Khan's leadership earlier this month, the Trade Commission Democrats voted to approve four points of action, each of which endorsed on a partisan basis without the assistance of Republican commissioners appointed by former President Donald Trump became.
One of those points was a controversial vote on expanding the agency's boundaries and powers, particularly with respect to monitoring corporate behavior, by repealing a 2015 policy on regulating “unfair competition practices” under Section 5 of the FTC Act.
The three Democratic commissioners say the agency was previously prevented from complying with its legal obligations under Congress, particularly making it difficult to challenge anti-competitive behavior by large corporations.
For the past few decades, the antitrust laws that the FTC is responsible for enforcing have focused on protecting consumers from anti-competitive mergers and commercial practices, and the agency's two Republican commissioners say repealing the directive could take the commission away from this consumer-oriented one Tradition and lead them to push their limits.
The Democratic majority of the Trade Commission wants to cut "office" and red tape within the agency, but it increases the bureaucracy in business, FTC Republican Commissioner Noah Phillips said during a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Wednesday.
House Republicans say the Trade Commission's broader anti-monopoly democratic agenda could deter them from focusing on protecting people from fraud, which the GOP sees as a key role for the agency.
“The partisanship and consolidation of power in the FTC that we are currently witnessing will jeopardize protection against fraud and harm people. It's a disservice to Americans - who the FTC has to protect, "a Republican advisor to House Energy and Commerce told the Washington Examiner.
"The FTC has traditionally been a bipartisan and independent agency, so these trends are deeply worrying," added the consultant.
The agency's Democrats interpret their Congressional mandate differently than the Republicans, saying the agency has long failed to investigate and prosecute unfair anti-competitive behavior under the leadership of both parties.
House Republicans say, however, that even if it is fair for Democrats to pursue their policies, given that they are in the majority, they do so in an opaque and forceful manner.
They argue that the Democrat-led commission is pushing its agenda without giving commissioners enough time to properly consider policy changes and not giving the public enough opportunity to engage.
"Although votes and limited discussion were held in an open session, the FTC did not accept public comments until after the commission's votes - which made this so-called opportunity for public input a sham," House Republicans wrote in their letter to the FTC.
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“In an overt attempt to control the flow of information from the commission, Chairman Khan ordered all FTC officials to cancel scheduled public events and imposed a lockdown. According to reports, radical changes to the FTC could damage morale and have a significant negative impact on experienced FTC staff, "they added.
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Tags: news, politics, economics, FTC, Lina Khan, antitrust, monopoly, mergers and acquisitions
Original author: Nihal Krishan
Original Location: EXCLUSIVE: Top Republicans cheer FTC for "partisan change" that will harm consumers
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