How the Republicans Actually Fought Against the Democrats on NDAA–and Won

How the Republicans Actually Fought Against the Democrats on NDAA–and Won

The GOP actually won this one.

Republicans, it seemed, were on the verge of losing yet again in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) fight with Democrats angling to include a number of controversial and unrelated provisions including the Journalism Competition and Preservative Act (JCPA)–a controversial bill that would create media cartels.

Conservatives have been furious with Republican leaders in recent years because the dynamic is usually that the GOP always caves to the Democrats no matter the issue or bill, the only questions being how fast and how much the GOP caves.

But all that changed this week, as a ragtag and frankly odd coalition of Republicans banded together to force the hand of their leaders—and make them fight—and lo and behold the Republicans actually won almost everything in the NDAA fight. The coalition included members from a broad swath across the conference, ranging from Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) to Thom Tillis (R-NC) and everyone in between:

The process for a big must-pass bill like the NDAA starts out much earlier in the year in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees where members—driven by the majority-chosen chairmen but with heavy input from all the members, including the minority—draft the core of the legislation. This is where the mostly noncontroversial stuff that actually serves to address the core purpose of the defense package—authorizing the military and its activities—comes together.

The Democrats spent all year dilly-dallying on this, and rather than getting it all done before the election, they instead delayed until now, in the lame duck session of Congress, to consider it—putting them up against a legislative deadline to get the NDAA done, thereby raising the stakes of the nature of the legislation’s must-pass urgency. Technically, if the NDAA fails, the military loses its legal authority to operate, so Congress absolutely must pass a new NDAA authorizing the military for national security purposes and the president has to sign it to keep the government functioning. Such is the nature of all must-pass bills, by the way, from lifting the debt ceiling to government funding vehicles and so on: Congress has to act or the government will cease to able to operate like normal.

So it is at this stage, up against a looming deadline creating urgency—which is leverage the Democrats actually fabricated by not doing their jobs earlier in the year—that Democrats have traditionally rolled Republicans by foisting into whatever must-pass legislation is being considered, in this case the NDAA, unrelated provisions designed to further their political agenda. What happens is once that traditional core of the legislation is crafted on a bipartisan—essentially nonpartisan—basis, the committee leaders then send that legislative text up the chain to the leadership in Congress which has its own backroom debate about it and what may or may not be added to it.

These leadership negotiations are called, informally on Capitol Hill, discussions between the “Four Corners.” The Four Corners are the four major leaders of the two chambers of Congress—the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader. Between these four people—who are currently respectively Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Chuck Schumer, and Mitch McConnell—they generally have the ability to move hugely significant swaths of votes in their respective chambers. If they agree broadly on something, usually they can overcome a filibuster—a 60-vote threshold—in the Senate, and they might even be able to overcome broad hurdles like a two-thirds majority in the House, which is required sometimes when moving quickly on legislation that passes under a suspension of the rules.

It’s in this room where Republicans have frequently over the last decade plus been railroaded by Democrats, who have regularly eked more and more out of the GOP, which always seemed to stand down and give in to the left. Part of that is that Pelosi, despite being a lightning rod for criticism and hated by Republicans, is universally regarded as a master legislator and negotiator. Another part of that dynamic has been that McConnell has been there a long time and often folks like that lose touch with the country. House Republicans, a decade ago, were represented by now former Speaker John Boehner, who was similar to McConnell in this respect and then later by now former Speaker Paul Ryan, who was an ideological foe of conservatives who believe in former President Donald Trump’s America First vision for the party. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely next Speaker of the House, has only ever represented the GOP in this room from a minority in Congress—a very significant minority after the 2018 elections and since 2020’s elections a much slimmer minority but always a minority nonetheless.

So, when it came time this past weekend for the Four Corners to have their negotiations about what to tack onto the NDAA, it seemed like everything was going to go as it always had, at least in modern memory. Pelosi and Schumer pushed to include the JCPA as well as several other add-ons like a marijuana industry banking provision and permitting reforms proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and more. While Republicans were fighting to include a repeal of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for military service members, that seemed like no done deal, and Democrats were using it as leverage to try to force more of their extraneous nonsense into the NDAA.

Democrats looked like they were going to succeed, yet again, and it looked like Republicans would again deflate and disappoint their base. As Breitbart News reported on Monday morning, after the weekend of negotiations, despite McCarthy arguing against it, McConnell had agreed to the JCPA going into the NDAA—and Pelosi and Schumer looked like they were on a glide path to another victory.

That’s when something really interesting happened. The right sprung into high gear, and began fighting back—and hard—particularly against the JCPA’s inclusion but also against the inclusion of other unrelated leftist provisions and for the inclusion of the repeal of the military vaccine mandate. As Breitbart News reported on Tuesday night, the blowback was severe—and it forced the GOP, particularly McConnell, into action back the other way.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” one longtime GOP leadership aide told Breitbart News during the process.

“It’s almost too good to be true, so I wanted to wait until we saw the text before confirming that JCPA and the rest of their nonsense was stripped out and the vax mandate repeal was in,” another said on Tuesday night.

One of the key details several sources with knowledge of the matter told Breitbart News happened was at a policy lunch for Senate Republicans on Tuesday several GOP Senators got up and raised concerns with what was going on. This came more than a full day into the barrage of backlash Republicans were getting for caving to the Democrats on this, and it became clear to GOP Senate leaders–especially McConnell–that the threat Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) made on Fox News earlier that morning that Republicans would filibuster the NDAA if the JCPA and the other unrelated leftist measures were in it was real.

So, McConnell called Pelosi later in the afternoon on Tuesday per several sources familiar with the matter and told her straight up: Either cut the unrelated items like JCPA from the NDAA or the GOP will filibuster the defense bill. Pelosi caved, and cut the nonsense out. Bill text was published later on Tuesday evening demonstrating the GOP victory.

Not only was the JCPA removed, but so was everything else the Democrat leaders tried to add. And the vaccine mandate repeal for military service members was still in. The GOP officially flipped the dynamic and pulled one over on the Democrats.

“If the GOP majority fights against the Left, we win,” incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Breitbart News. “Leader McCarthy and House Republicans were firm in their opposition to the vaccine mandate and JCPA, and what do you know, we got results. Let’s keep it up.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) added that the fighting mentality the GOP displayed is a sign of things to come. “I was honored to lead the way in removing the COVID shot mandate for servicemembers in this year’s NDAA because I’ve heard it countless times from Tennesseans: this is no way to treat the men and women who protect our nation,” Blackburn said. “We will not stop fighting against Washington Democrats’ attempts to destroy our freedoms.”

It’s fitting for Republicans that this victory comes as Pelosi is headed for the exits. For the first time in over a decade, she will not, as of January, represent House Democrats in the Four Corners negotiations. After Democrats lost the House majority in the midterm elections, she announced she will leave leadership—though she is staying in Congress—and Democrats have selected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to succeed her as top dog for House Democrats next year.

But also importantly for conservatives who have been frustrated at Republicans sliding and handing victory after victory to the Democrats, this could reset the tone of congressional negotiations in battles to come. Republicans are on the verge of taking control back in the House for the first time since the 2018 midterm elections back during the Trump administration, and in the Senate even McConnell seems a bit more engaged in the fight—even if he at first reflexively caved—now that the base is angry.

Punchbowl News picked up on this dynamic shift with McConnell in its morning newsletter on Friday. After noting that conservatives critical of McConnell were planning a meeting next week to pressure the conference to “more actively confront Democrats,” and with a shift in the structure of the Senate now with Democrats having a clear majority, “McConnell can resume his traditional role as Democrats’ biggest antagonist.” Punchbowl News wrote:

Senate Republicans have seen some shifts from McConnell recently. For instance, McConnell refused to tell Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) what his position was on repealing the Covid vaccine mandate for military service members. This came despite repeated questioning by Paul during a GOP conference meeting several weeks ago, according to several Republican senators. The following week, McConnell told Senate Republicans that he wouldn’t let the annual defense authorization bill pass without the repeal provision. That language was included in the bipartisan NDAA deal.

While it is very late in the game for the GOP to finally get its act together–and this may be a one-off, or it could become the new normal–perhaps there is no better illustration of just how down conservatives were when it looked like there was another cave coming than when many began circulating a YouTube clip of an infamous movie speech that inspired Republicans instead to fight it out and eventually shock Washington by winning the battle.

The clip was of the epic speech from John “Bluto” Blutarsky, John Belushi’s legendary character in the timeless classic Animal House, where Bluto rallies despondent Delta House frat bros to fight back against what they saw as corrupted insiders screwing them over:

So, if a slightly reengaged McConnell combined with an eager McCarthy—mixed together with a very green Jeffries and a bogged down Schumer—comprise the negotiating table for next year in the congressional leadership, things could continue to shift drastically. But the biggest takeaway from all of this is: If Republicans actually fight back, they certainly can get some wins—and this time they did.


Shadow Greed: National Association of Broadcasters Harasses Congress for JCPA Media Bailout

The potential inclusion of the controversial media bailout known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) threatened to upend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Powerful special interest groups, such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), lobbied for the JCPA’s inclusion in the bill despite the prospect of politicizing the funding authorization for the nation’s troops.

The NAB came out of the shadows and activated its extensive grassroots network to harass conservative members of Congress blocking the JCPA. NAB is led by leftist president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt, a former Senior Counsel to  the powerful Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The NAB is pushing local broadcasters to call congressional offices demanding that lawmakers drop their opposition in a desperate lobbying barrage.

The NAB has continued its lobbying blitz against conservative members of Congress at a time that the legislative body is trying to prioritize national security by reauthorizing funding for America’s servicemembers.

A senior Senate GOP aide confirmed that the NAB has lobbied the senator’s office regarding the JCPA.

A senior House GOP aide confirmed that the National Association of Broadcasters called the lawmaker regarding the JCPA.

As Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and other conservatives have noted, the JCPA has nothing to do with national defense.

In a moment of desperation, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the lead schemer behind the JCPA, claimed that the media cartel bill is vital for “national security.” One day after lawmakers decided not to include the JCPA, she returned to her old talking points, without discussing how the bill is vital to national security.

This would not be the first time the NAB has been accused of being greedy. As these broadcasters emerge from the shadows to demand a media bailout, they have for years refused to pay American artists for using their song recordings on air.

Democrats, desperate to secure a goodie bag for their cronies in the media, chose to play games with American national security by attaching the JCPA, which, according to Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), has been described as a bailout for “big media.”

Over the last 48 hours, top Republicans including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump Jr.,  have spoken out against the attempt to tie national security to what is essentially corporate welfare for media conglomerates.

Citing a Breitbart News article, Pompeo also highlighted how the JCPA will indirectly help China, by amplifying the same news outlets that accept Chinese money to influence the American public.

“Giving the media cartel power is bad enough,” said Pompeo “The JCPA’s “China loophole” means this will benefit our adversaries. All Republicans should oppose cramming this bad bill in the NDAA.”

Trump Jr. on Monday questioned why some Republicans would work with Democrats to “destroy alternative media” by passing the JCPA.

Sen. Tillis joined Sens. Cotton, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),  Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and John Cornyn (R-TX), all of whom have either spoken out publicly against the bill or who, according to sources familiar with the matter, are blocking the bill from being “hotlined” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Broadcasters have lobbied to have the media cartel bill included in the bill even though the JCPA does not focus on national security. Now that the JCPA is not in the NDAA, special interest groups, such as the News Media Alliance and the National Association of Broadcasters, could decide to put it in an omnibus spending bill. However, it appears that special interest groups’ window for moving on the JCPA is narrowing rapidly.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


After NDAA Defeat, Amy Klobuchar Drops National Security Rationale for Media Cartel Bill JCPA

After NDAA Defeat, Amy Klobuchar Drops National Security Rationale for Media Cartel Bill JCPA

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the driving force behind efforts to secure a handout for Democrat media cronies through the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), appears to have abandoned her last-minute pivot to a “national security” argument for the bill after efforts to attach it to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) failed.

Klobuchar rolled out the national security argument Tuesday amid a massive backlash against plans to attach the JCPA, essentially corporate welfare for media companies, to the defense spending bill. “It is about our own national future and national security,” said Klobuchar.

A day later, the NDAA effort has been abandoned, and the “national security argument along with it. Instead, Klobuchar has gone back to her old talking point about “saving local journalism.”

The Minnesota senator put out this statement earlier today:

“Local journalism is essential to our communities and our democracy, but one third of local papers that existed just twenty years ago will be shuttered by 2025. While the big tech platforms rake in a fortune using news content they don’t pay for, local news is in crisis. Our bipartisan bill gives local news a chance to negotiate on a level playing field for fair compensation for its work. Continually allowing the big tech companies to dominate policy decisions in Washington is no longer a viable option when it comes to news compensation, consumer and privacy rights, or the online marketplace. We must get this done.”

The problem for Klobuchar is that after a year and a half of debate about the JCPA, her old talking points have been repeatedly knocked down, not just by conservatives but also by progressives and media unions.

The picture Klobuchar paints, of struggling local newspapers being the main beneficiaries of this bill, have been repeatedly disproven. Media unions and organizations from across the political spectrum have pointed out that the biggest beneficiaries of the bill are going to be large conglomerates, in many cases owned by the same hedge funds that have bought up local newspapers around the country, only to shutter them or slash their staffing.

Furthermore, as Breitbart News has explained, the JCPA gives a massive advantage to the wealthiest and most powerful conglomerates that own multiple publications.

Via Breitbart News:

The bill also allows any news company to join a new cartel within 60 days of the announcement of its formation, meaning national conglomerates that own multiple outlets can dominate any new cartel by flooding it with members. Companies like Hearst, Gannett, Axel Springer SE, and Newscorp — all of which have pushed hard for the bill — would dominate decision-making in cartels, while small companies that do not own multiple news outlets would have virtually no sway.

On top of this, the bill contains multiple provisions that will allow media cartels to keep conservative and independent media out of the insiders’ club, allowing members to exclude other potential members based on virtually any criteria, so long as it is unrelated to the size or “viewpoint” of the publication.

But the “viewpoint” protection is a fig leaf: when conservatives are excluded or censored on social media and in other organizations, the decisionmakers always present the public with a viewpoint-neutral pretext: “disinformation,” “hate speech,” “safety,” and “election integrity” have all been used in recent years.

It is hard to imagine that a media cartel made up of the world’s biggest conglomerates wouldn’t use similar excuses to exclude conservative and independent media.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


JCPA COSPONSOR Greg Steube: ‘I’m Certainly Not Married to the Language in This Bill’

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) appeared on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host and editor-in-chief Alex Marlow today. The controversial Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which Rep. Steube co-sponsored in the House, was one of the topics raised on the show.

While Rep. Steube defended the general principle of the bill and backed up lead Republican co-sponsor Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), he agreed with some of the criticisms of the bill and said he is not “married” to its language or provisions.

In particular, Rep. Steube said he “doesn’t disagree” with a criticism of one of the core elements of the bill, financial handouts from Big Tech to the media industry, because it would create a disincentive for media companies receiving the handouts to investigate Big Tech.

“One thing that I think holds Big Tech accountable is that there is at least some level of journalism that’s done that targets Big Tech, and when Big Tech is literally cutting checks to media outlets, and they are negotiating how big those checks are going to be every so often as a big collective, that just seems like a formula for no more journalism to be done on big tech,” said Marlow. “Why would I investigate people who are creating a huge slush fund? I’m probably not going to investigate them quite as hard as the people who are giving me a bunch of money.”

“Yeah, I don’t disagree with that, and there’s things that Breitbart sees that can we change, or a bill idea that you guys have, I’m happy to look at that,” said Rep. Steube. “I’m certainly not married to the language in this bill, I’m just a co-sponsor, and I think Buck would probably be better able to articulate why he thinks this is important over things like what I want to do like doing away with the Section 230 liability protection.”

On the show, Marlow also outlined concerns that the media cartel(s) created by the JCPA will have the power to exclude independent outlets like Breitbart News.

“What gives you the confidence that when these media companies form a cartel, that Breitbart is going to be included?” asked Marlow. “I’ll tell you, working with other conservative outlets on certain things, we don’t all line up on stuff, and we’re certainly not going to get welcomed into any cartel that includes the New York Times or the Washington Post, and to be honest even the News Corp publications which do a lot of terrific work but they’re highly competitive people. I don’t think Rupert Murdoch is going to be negotiating on behalf of Breitbart with Big Tech, that just sounds entirely unrealistic.”

“I’m not married to one position or another,” responded Rep. Steube. “I’m certainly open to hearing both sides on this.”

The JCPA is an unusual bill in that cosponsors, who rarely back out or waver on bills they support, have done so on this one. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he was “reconsidering” his support for the bill following a hearing with journalist Glenn Greenwald last year. And in September this year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) withdrew his cosponsorship of the bill in the Senate.

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


Sen. Steve Daines Takes on the Establishment With JCPA

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) is one of the Senators preventing the Democrats from ramming the widely condemned Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) through the legislative process without a debate on the floor.

The JCPA is a financial handout for the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful media conglomerates. The bill will allow the creation of a joint negotiating entity, a.k.a. a cartel, to force arbitration agreements on Big Tech companies, forcing them to give the media industry financial and other favors.

Large media conglomerates and their hedge fund owners set to be the biggest winners of the JCPA, with provisions in the bill that allow companies that own multiple news outlets to sign up all their publications to join any new cartel, allowing the biggest conglomerates to dominate proceedings.

The bill also allows the cartel to write its own rules to exclude potential new members, a recipe for sidelining conservative and alternative media. Protections in the bill against “viewpoint” discrimination fall flat, as the exclusion and censorship of conservatives in recent years has always been justified using viewpoint-neutral pretexts, like “disinformation” and “extremism.”

As if all that wasn’t repulsive enough to conservatives, there are also national security concerns: China is using the same media companies that would benefit from the JCPA to push its propaganda. The national security threat is particularly egregious given that Democrats have attempted to attach the JCPA to a “must-pass” defense spending package, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Steve Daines has, according to sources on the hill, voiced an objection. He is one of several Republican senators making life miserable for the Democrats, placing a “hold” on the bill and preventing it from being passed through the hotline procedure.

In doing so, Sen. Daines is doing what his voters back home in Montana want. Gallup’s regular survey of Americans’ trust in the media industry has found it to be at record lows, with Republicans’ trust in the institution at a particularly dire 11 percent as of 2021.

To put that in perspective, the number of Republicans who thought abortion should be legal under any circumstances in 2021 was 15 percent — four points higher!

With the media so utterly discredited, the logical conclusion would be that fair competition is exactly what the industry needs. Instead, some lawmakers want to artificially prop up the industry by allowing its wealthiest and most powerful elements to strike backroom deals with Silicon Valley.

Democrats are desperate to secure a corporate welfare package for their cronies in the leftist media — but it only takes a few bold Senators like Daines to block their efforts.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


Severe Blowback on Effort to Include Media Cartel Bill JCPA in Defense Bill Forces Congressional Leaders to Remove from Bill

Congressional leaders stripped from the annual defense package a controversial proposal that would have allowed media organizations to create cartels to collectively bargain with Big Tech companies, text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) released on Tuesday evening shows.

The revelation that the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) has been stripped from the text of the NDAA after congressional leaders had agreed to include it just days ago is a massive development that comes after congressional leaders were caught off guard by the swift and severe blowback to the effort, Breitbart News has learned.

The removal of the proposal is a massive win for conservatives after sweeping criticism from across the political spectrum came in in the wake of reports that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell had caved to Democrats on this, but particularly criticism among Republicans, who were shocked leaders had agreed to include the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Several GOP senators joined in the chorus of critics in public and in private, ripping the push to shred and delay the release of the NDAA’s final text by more than a full day and throwing the final weeks of this lame duck Congress into disarray.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in particular, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told Breitbart News, was caught flat-footed in response after he had this weekend acquiesced to demands from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to include the JCPA in the NDAA. Only House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely next Speaker of the House, was fighting it all along among the vaunted “Four Corners”–the so-called four leaders of the two chambers of Congress.

When Breitbart News broke the story on Monday morning, though, that McCarthy was outvoted three to one among the congressional leaders on this matter, pandemonium broke out among opponents of the JCPA, especially those on the right.

Criticisms rained down on the effort, particularly along the lines that not only did the JCPA policy-wise have nothing to do with America’s national defense, but that in reality the policy would weaken national security through loopholes that would boost the chief adversary of the United States the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, began organizing efforts to fight back. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) swung into action and urged his GOP colleagues to filibuster the defense package if it contains the JCPA. Others, like Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), issued public statements via Twitter saying they disagreed with including this in the NDAA.

GOP Senators debated the matter behind closed doors, too, in their weekly policy lunch, and the lack of any serious defense of the effort to include the JCPA and other extraneous proposals in the NDAA shocked McConnell as senators expressed outrage on the matter. McConnell, sources familiar with the matter say, began changing his tune in response to the GOP outrage later on Tuesday and insisting the NDAA be stripped of the JCPA.

Meanwhile, other critics of the legislation, like House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and the House Judiciary GOP threw haymakers against the plan via Twitter, ripping the plot.

More voices joined the chorus too, including former President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. tweeting out a criticism of the JCPA saying it would lead to more censorship of conservatives and urging Republicans to rip it out of the NDAA.

“Why are some Republicans working with Dems to destroy alternative media?” asked Don Jr. “This law gives Big Tech & the Corporate Media MORE censorship power. Strip it out of the NDAA!”

Others, like conservative groups including FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), joined the push to strip the JCPA out of the NDAA via tweets and letters.

Reason magazine, the voice of the libertarian movement in the U.S., also came out against the bill, echoing FreedomWorks’ characterization of the JCPA as “cronyism.”

“The worst ideas in Congress never die; they just get sneaked into unrelated bills,” wrote Reason senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown. “This week, that means lawmakers are reportedly trying to burrow a bad media protectionism bill into defense spending authorization.”

Other organizations on the center right, including the Niskanen Center and R Street Institute, signed on to an open letter opposing the last-ditch JCPA effort with 25 other organizations from across the political spectrum.

Given that populists like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), whose populist politics are often a source of consternation for libertarians, also opposed the JCPA over its weakening of antitrust laws, it looks like every part of the political right has a reason to oppose this bill.

Over at Fox News, Laura Ingraham, host of The Ingraham Angle, called the push to add the JCPA to a defense spending bill “disturbing.”

“Now this defense bill will as usual be so long, and the text released so late that few members will actually read it, and even fewer tally up all the waste,” said Ingraham. She went on to say:

But Breitbart uncovered something disturbing tucked inside it – something called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act in the National Defense Authorization Act. Now, it will allow media companies – most owned by wealthy conglomerates – to form negotiating cartels to secure special favors from Big Tech companies, including some financial handouts.

Don’t for a second think that they hadn’t planned this all. Staff on the hill and at the White House have undoubtedly been working away at all of this nonsense for probably most of the last year.

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg also waded into the fray, releasing a statement on Monday warning that Facebook may have to remove news from the platform altogether if the alternative is to be forced into binding agreements with a corporate media cartel as the result of the JCPA.

Even the left is up in arms about the bill. Despite attempts by media lobbyists to frame the bill as a rescue package for struggling journalists, the media unions who represent those journalists were not convinced, slamming the JCPA as a handout for the hedge fund owners of media conglomerates, not frontline journalists.

This argument was echoed by the left-leaning nonprofits, including the influential ACLU, over 25 of which signed on to an open letter on Monday opposing the attachment of the JCPA to the NDAA.

From the open letter:

Large media conglomerates can dominate negotiations, and small outlets would be unheard if not hurt,” wrote the organizations in their open letter. Despite claims that the bill is ‘designed to benefit small and local publishers exclusively,’ a publisher employee cap of 1,500 would exclude only the nation’s three largest newspapers from participating in negotiations (and as noted below, the cap doesn’t apply to broadcasters at all).

The “one publisher, one vote” provision for negotiating entities underplays the forms of soft power large conglomerates with brand-name news outlets can bring to the negotiations. In fact, the bill encourages — and may help fund — more consolidation among both newspapers and broadcasters.

No matter where you look on the ideological compass – left, right, MAGA, moderate, populist, libertarian –we find vocal opposition to the JCPA, and bipartisan agreement that the bill is nothing more than corporate welfare for the world’s wealthiest media companies and their hedge fund owners. It seems the only friends the media industry and its well-funded lobbyists have are their lackeys in Congress.

From here, the path forward for the JCPA is unclear. Now that it is out of the NDAA, leaders could try to attach it to a spending bill like an omnibus or a continuing resolution (CR)–an omnibus is a far likelier place than a CR for something like this–or they could try to pass it as a standalone bill. But the clock is ticking on this Congress and the window for moving the JCPA is becoming smaller by the second.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


Tom Cotton Calls for GOP Senators to Filibuster NDAA Until Media Cartel Plan JCPA, Other Extraneous Bills Removed

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called on Republican senators to filibuster the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) over congressional leadership’s move to latch the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) onto the bill.

Cotton said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are holding the bill “hostage” by moving to add “all kinds of extraneous nondefense measures” such as the JCPA; the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks to handle marijuana-related businesses; or  Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) natural gas and oil permitting bill as a reward for his voting for the Inflation Reduction Act.

Cotton referred to the JCPA as a “payoff for liberal media companies to form a cartel to work with big tech that will hurt center-right outlets.”

The Arkansas conservative called to filibuster the bill in the Senate if Democrats insist on adding these extraneous measures to the defense authorization bill.

Cotton said:

If Democrats insist on adding these extraneous measures to the bill, Republican senators should filibuster, and frankly, House Republicans, whose votes are necessary to pass it in the House, should not vote for it either, until the Democrats back down and pass a defense bill that is actually focused on our national security and supporting the troops.

Cotton is one of ten Republican “patriots” that have opposed the advancement of the JCPA. Others include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

Breitbart News senior technology correspondent Allum Bokhari wrote:

The media industry has thrown everything it has into passing this bill, well aware that there are hundreds of millions to billions of dollars of Big Tech money that could be funneled to them if it passes. Over the past two years, the media has fully deployed its vast clout with politicians, which extends across both parties, to get this legislation over the line, and has repeatedly failed to do so.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


Group of 10 GOP Patriots Push Back on McConnell, Democrat Push to Include JCPA in NDAA

Group of 10 GOP Patriots Push Back on McConnell, Democrat Push to Include JCPA in NDAA

Amid a last-ditch effort by media lobbyists to insert the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bailout for the mainstream media derided across the partisan spectrum, into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), ten Republican senators are heroically stalling the push.

GOP senate leader Mitch McConnell is the primary antagonist, using two routes to help the Democrats ram through the bailout for their cronies in the media, something even their own supporters on the left oppose.

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., speaks during the news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to announce legislation which would require the president to consult with congressional leaders and obtain congressional authorization before exercising certain national security powers. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

One route is to attach the bill to the NDAA, a vital defense spending bill seen as a “must-pass,” which is rapidly evolving into a Christmas tree with all sorts of Democrat hobby horses, wholly unrelated to defense, attached to it.

McConnell and the Democrats are also attempting a process known as a “hotwire,” which would pass the JCPA without any debate if no Senator objects to it.

But they have a problem — the number of Senators opposing it has only grown since the push began, with sources on the hill telling Breitbart News that the number of opposing Senators is now up to ten.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has reportedly been particularly active in mobilizing opposition to the bill, having long warned of the JCPA’s potential to deepen the corrupt ties between Big Tech and the media industry, a relationship that has driven censorship of conservatives and independent media.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who was the first GOP senator to oppose the bill when it was first introduced in the House in the spring of 2021, recognizing the danger of more censorship, is also one of the Senators reportedly standing in the way of the Democrats and their establishment GOP enablers forcing the bill through without a debate.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who eloquently broke down the problems with the JCPA in the most recent Senate hearing for the bill, is another staunch JCPA opponent preventing the bill from being hotwired.

The last-minute push to enact the JCPA is also attracting the attention of senators who have not previously been involved in the debate. Sources on the hill say Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has also refused to cave in to the media lobby and its allies in the Republican and Democrat leaderships, and has, like Cotton and Blackburn, put a hold on the legislation.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has also reportedly joined the fray on the side of the JCPA opponents, along with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).

It is unclear who the other Senators preventing the hotwire are. Other Senators who have publicly opposed the bill include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

The media industry has thrown everything it has into passing this bill, well aware that there are hundreds of millions to billions of dollars of Big Tech money that could be funneled to them if it passes. Over the past two years, the media has fully deployed its vast clout with politicians, which extends across both parties, to get this legislation over the line, and has repeatedly failed to do so.

The fact that it has been held up so long, in a Democrat-controlled Congress, shows that corporate welfare for even the most powerful and wealthy special interests can be stopped if a few principled lawmakers take a stand.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.



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