Tom Cotton: Biden Administration Won’t Commit to Not Bailing Out Chinese SVB Investors

Tom Cotton: Biden Administration Won’t Commit to Not Bailing Out Chinese SVB Investors

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said in a tweet Monday that the Biden administration refused to commit to not bailing out Chinese companies that invested in Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) with American taxpayer money.

“It’s well known that SVB funneled American money into Chinese companies,” Cotton tweeted.

“I pressed the Biden administration today to commit not to bailout Chinese companies with money from Arkansas’s taxpayers, but they refused. Which tells you that’s exactly what President Biden plans to do,” he said.

Silicon Valley Bank had supported many start-up companies, including those from China, according to a CNBC report.

According to the report, the bank allowed Chinese mobile numbers to be used for opening accounts and allowed for a week-long vetting period for new accounts for start-ups compared to the three to six months for traditional banks.

Having a bank account with SVB allowed these China-based start-ups to tap funding from U.S.-based investors, the report said.

The report notes that a Chinese biotech company called Everest Medicines said it expects to recover most of its deposits at the bank through the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

As Breitbart News’s John Hayward reported Monday, Chinese firms rushed over the weekend to reassure their customers and investors that their exposure in the SVB collapse is minimal, or that they have enough cash on hand to weather any loss of access to their SVB funds.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said the federal government would not bail out the investors and owners of the bank, but the Federal Reserve moved to set up an emergency lending program for banks. She claimed on CBS’s Face the Nation, “the American banking system is really safe and well-capitalized, it’s resilient.”

President Joe Biden on Monday tried to reassure Americans that the U.S. banking industry is safe in a brief statement on Monday.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook.


Republicans Demand Accountability Following Reports of Fauci Commissioning Paper to Discredit Lab Leak Theory

Republicans Demand Accountability Following Reports of Fauci Commissioning Paper to Discredit Lab Leak Theory

Dr. Anthony Fauci, former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House medical advisor, reportedly commissioned and approved of a paper steering the narrative on the origins of the coronavirus — ultimately attempting to discredit the lab leak theory — prompting outrage from Republicans, calling to hold him accountable.

A March 5 memo sent to members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic reveals that Fauci, along with “at least eleven other scientists” participated in a conference call on February 1, 2020, where they were told that the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, may have leaked from a lab.

Conveniently, three days later, “four participants of the conference call authored a paper entitled ‘The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2’ (Proximal Origin) and sent a draft to Drs. Fauci and Collins,” per the memo.

“Prior to final publication in Nature Medicine, the paper was sent to Dr. Fauci for editing and approval,” the memo notes, explaining that Fauci used the paper two months later in an attempt to publicly dismiss the lab leak theory.

According to the memo:

New evidence released by the Select Subcommittee today suggests that Dr. Fauci “prompted” the drafting of a publication that would “disprove” the lab leak theory, the authors of this paper skewed available evidence to achieve that goal, and Dr. Jeremy Farrar went uncredited despite significant involvement.

Fauci would even go on to cite this study from the White House podium.

“Follow the $—the $ for the Wuhan Lab he approved. This line of questioning was pursued in our depo of Fauci as well. He didn’t want to be implicated in the Lab Leak so he dismissed it & smeared anyone who thought it plausible,” Sen. Eric. Schmitt (R-MO) said.

“He must be held accountable,” he added:

“This reminds me of how Hillary Clinton cooked up the Russia Hoax, planted it in the media, and then cited media reports to provide ‘independent’ evidence for the fabricated theory,” author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza remarked:

“We now know Fauci orchestrated a fraudulent paper he then used to dismiss #LabLeak. A 3/20 blog by his boss/co-conspirator Francis Collins: ‘this study leaves little room to refute a natural origin for COVID’ Lab origin is ‘outrageous claim’ & ‘rumor,’” the White Coat Waste Project’s Justin Goodman said:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has long questioned Fauci and his honesty, retweeted a clip of MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace referring the lab leak theory as a Trump conspiracy theory:

“After funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, Fauci smeared those of us who suggested the possibility of a lab leak. He must be held accountable,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said as others expressed disgust over the latest reports:

The report follows President Biden’s Department of Energy admitting the coronavirus likely stemmed from a lab leak, despite Fauci’s initial insistence that it was not the case. 

“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated. … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” Fauci told National Geographic in May 2020, deeming the lab leak theory a “circular argument.” 


The Only Thing Conspiratorial About The Covid Lab-Leak Theory Was Media’s Coordinated Dismissal Of It

The Only Thing Conspiratorial About The Covid Lab-Leak Theory Was Media’s Coordinated Dismissal Of It

This week, Democrat activists posing as journalists were forced to admit a hard truth millions of Americans have known for years: The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus most likely came as the result of a lab leak in China.

On Sunday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Energy Department had recently provided a classified memo to the White House and several members of Congress concluding “the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak.”

“The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research,” the report reads. “The FBI previously came to the conclusion that the pandemic was likely the result of a lab leak in 2021 with ‘moderate confidence’ and still holds to this view.”

Within hours of the Journal report’s release, corporate media outlets, from CNN and NBC News to The New York Times and The Guardian, dutifully regurgitated the Biden administration’s findings. The Narrative™ is changing, so regime media are taking their cues.

Conservatives, who had considered evidence of a possible lab leak from the beginning, have seen this routine before and remember well the coordinated squelching of a dissenting origin theory. We know exactly how these same self-professed truth-seekers went out of their way to accuse anyone who considered the possibility that Covid leaked out of a Chinese lab of promoting a “debunked” “conspiracy theory.”

“This question about the Wuhan lab — we know it’s been debunked, that this virus was man-made or modified or anything like that,” then-MSNBC host Kasie Hunt previously said. “The Wuhan Lab Leak Hypothesis Is A Conspiracy Theory, Not Science,” a June 2021 headline from Forbes reads. Other outlets that attempted to dismiss the theory include NPR, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy, CNN, NBC, and The New York Times, just to name a few.

Legacy Media Lie, Lie, and Lie Some More

It wasn’t enough that the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, or former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released reports and statements over the past three years confirming the lab-leak theory was plausible, if not likely. But legacy media had their narrative and followed it in lockstep.

Among the most egregious tactics used to discredit the theory was the intentional conflation of the hypothesis with speculation that Covid-19 was created as a Chinese bioweapon and unleashed intentionally on the world. Case in point: Sen. Tom Cotton.

During an appearance on Fox News in February 2020, the Arkansas Republican raised the possibility that the virus could have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, saying, “We need to at least ask the question” about a potential lab leak given China’s “duplicity and dishonesty” at the beginning of the pandemic. Despite such benign remarks, The Washington Post’s Paulina Firozi attacked Cotton in an article with the headline, “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.”

The article was so grossly dishonest in attempting to conflate Cotton’s innocent speculation about the virus’ origins with conjecture that it was a Chinese bioweapon that the Post was forced to issue a weak correction on the story. Of course, that correction didn’t come until 15 months after the article was published and Cotton’s name had been successfully dragged through the mud.

Yet even with the Post’s admission that Cotton’s remarks weren’t conspiratorial, the article still reads like it could be a press release from the Chinese Communist Party. In the updated piece, Firozi still refers to the lab-leak theory as “fringe” and cites numerous so-called “experts” who dismiss “the possibility the coronavirus may be man-made.” She even goes out of her way to regurgitate comments from China’s former ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, who called speculation about the lab-leak theory “harmful” and “dangerous” during his February 2020 appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

America’s Press Is Irreparably Broken

Despite their long-overdue “corrections” and attempts to maintain a veneer of credibility, legacy media’s evolving coverage of the Covid lab-leak theory is just another reminder that today’s “journalists” are nothing more than Democrat Party activists who specialize in gaslighting. In their coverage of the biggest stories over the past several years, none of the major outlets deemed credible by “disinformation” tracking groups have been accurate or honest in their so-called reporting.

From the Russia collusion hoax, to the Covid response, to Black Lives Matter riots, legacy media have always placed their personal, political agenda above the facts. No amount of too-little-too-late narrative-shifting can cover it up.

Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood


WSJ: U.S. Energy Department Report Says Lab Leak Most Likely Source of Global Coronavirus Pandemic

WSJ: U.S. Energy Department Report Says Lab Leak Most Likely Source of Global Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic most likely began with a laboratory leak,  a U.S. Energy Department classified intelligence report now before the White House and key Congress members sets out.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday the Energy Department’s revised assessment of the pandemic’s origins is based on fresh intelligence noted in an update to a 2021 document by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.

The WSJ further states while the investigation is ongoing, more authorities are coming to the lab leak hypothesis however there is as yet no unanimous decision:

The new report highlights how different parts of the intelligence community have arrived at disparate judgments about the pandemic’s origin. The Energy Department now joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation in saying the virus likely spread via a mishap at a Chinese laboratory.

Four other agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that it was likely the result of a natural transmission, and two are undecided.

The report goes on to say the Energy Department made its judgment with “low confidence,” according to people who have read the classified report, however it does align with previous speculation about the exact origin of the virus, as Breitbart News reported.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) doubled down on questions addressing the origins of the Chinese coronavirus as far back as 2021, noting the lab leak hypothesis was “always reasonable” but quickly denounced as a conspiracy theory by “reporters & activists in white lab coats.”

“The common-sense case for a lab leak is the same as it was in January 2020, when I first mentioned the possibility,” Cotton said then.

In the time since others agreed the Biden administration would be remiss not to investigate the Wuhan laboratory as a source of the deadly release.

Watch/Flashback: Sen. Marsha Blackburn in 2021: “I am livid with Dr. Fauci … ‘Lab Leak’ may well have been intentional  by China”

Matthew Perdie, Jack Knudsen

U.S. officials reportedly have declined to give details on the fresh intelligence and analysis that led the Energy Department to change its position.

They added while the Energy Department and the FBI each say an unintended lab leak is most likely, they arrived at those conclusions for different reasons, the WSJ concludes.

The Chinese government has not responded to requests for comment about whether there has been any change in its views on the coronavirus origins.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:


Republicans Who Want War ‘To the Hilt’ Against Russia Forget The Lessons Of Iraq

Republicans Who Want War ‘To the Hilt’ Against Russia Forget The Lessons Of Iraq

It didn’t escape the notice of conservatives that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was sporting the colors of his favorite team on the evening of the State of the Union address. Like millions of the virtue signalers on Facebook who replaced the Black Lives Matter or Covid vaccination logos on their profile pictures, McConnell’s blue and yellow tie was a visual manifestation of his belief that support for Ukraine is the “the most important thing going on in the world.” 

As President Joe Biden’s astonishing success in getting the Senate Republicans to rubber-stamp his decision to spend more than $100 billion on aid to Ukraine last year demonstrated, the Beltway GOP establishment is just as invested in the war in Ukraine as the Democrats.

Some of it is the product of the vestigial remnants of Reaganite policy toward the Soviet Union, which rightly believed that a willingness to engage and defeat Moscow wherever it sought to expand its reach was necessary. Yet despite the fact that Vladimir Putin dreams of reassembling Stalin’s empire, his Russia doesn’t pose the same threat to the West that the Soviet Union did.

That has been demonstrated by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s been, to put it mildly, a fiasco that exposed systemic incompetence. Outside the possibility of Biden blundering into a nuclear Third World War scenario, the Russians no longer present a potent threat to an expanding NATO.

Yet Republicans, such as Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., are still sounding the same sort of critique of Biden’s war policy that Republicans also used against weak-kneed Democrats who were soft on the communist threat in the last century. But according to Cotton’s pro-war manifesto published earlier this month in The Wall Street Journal, in which he correctly states that Biden’s indecisiveness and weakness encouraged Putin to do something he didn’t dare try while Trump was president. He also argued Biden isn’t doing enough to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ambitions in the region. 

But a consensus about preserving Ukrainian independence against Putin’s efforts to force it back into Soviet-era satellite status isn’t good enough for GOP hawks. They want a full American commitment to Zelensky’s quest to oust the Russians from every inch of soil that was under Ukrainian sovereignty in 2014. If that means giving Ukraine U.S. fighter jets, cluster bombs, and long-range missiles to hit targets deep inside Russia, then Cotton’s all for it. He believes anything short of a complete Ukrainian victory — however improbable that might be — would be a disaster and wants an American commitment to “war to the hilt” against Russia.

That may resonate with Republicans who came of age after the Vietnam War when Americans critiqued leaders who didn’t fight to win the wars they blundered into. He believes America should have a “strategy of victory” that will put an end to Russia’s ability to threaten Europe and deter China from invading Taiwan.

Unlike the declining regime in Moscow, Beijing does pose a global threat to U.S. interests. But Cotton gives no explanation for how disarming the American military in order to feed Zelensky’s war machine with no coherent plans for an arms buildup that would put us in a position to help anyone will achieve such deterrence.

More importantly, Republicans don’t seem to have given any serious consideration to the consequences of their plans.

No serious person thinks Ukraine can achieve a total victory over Russia in a war that, following Moscow’s setbacks last year, has settled into a World War One-style trench warfare stalemate.

But what would happen if a massive infusion of American high-tech weaponry as well as cash along the lines of Cotton’s dreams of escalation did lead to a Ukraine victory and, ultimately, Putin’s fall? Do the GOP hawks really think Putin’s regime would be replaced by a Western European-style liberal democracy that poses no threat to its neighbors? Perhaps those who have swallowed the myth that Zelensky is a paladin of American values rather than a typical leader of a corrupt, oppressive former Soviet republic actually believe that’s a possibility.

But the most likely outcome would be a bitter revanchist regime that would probably be even more dangerous than that of Putin. This might also entail the breakup of the Russian Federation and the emergence of unstable, dangerous states in places like Chechnya that could go to war with each other for control of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

The Bush-era Republicans who still dominate the Senate GOP caucus have learned nothing from what happened in Iraq, where similarly well-intentioned schemes not only failed to defend American interests but made the world a more dangerous place. 

The Ukrainians deserve credit for fighting bravely for their country, but the continuation of the current stalemate as the death tolls rise benefits only the political interests of Zelensky, Putin, and those who profit from the war. Bleeding Russia white simply to revive Cold War-era proxy wars with Moscow is not only deeply cynical. The notion that the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine as it was in 2014 has anything to do with the national interests of the United States, let alone its top security issue, would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that so many Republicans actually believe it.

Ukraine is already strong enough to help contain a post-war Russia with or without Putin. And thanks to Trump’s efforts and the way Putin’s aggression has awakened America’s allies to their responsibilities, the idea that Moscow could successfully attack any of its NATO neighbors is no longer a serious proposition.

If instead of heeding the war hawks, Biden begins pushing for a compromise peace deal, Ukraine could be spared more years of a devastating war with countless casualties and damage to an already broken country. The same terms that the Ukrainians will eventually have to accept to end the war years from now are currently available if the West is willing to prioritize diplomacy over escalation. That will mean fewer dead and a lower price for the rebuilding of Ukraine that the United States will be expected to pay.

Republican voters may still revere Reagan’s memory, but most are aware that different challenges — such as China and a southern border that Biden won’t defend even as he pours U.S. resources into Ukraine — face the nation he once led. It’s time congressional Republicans listened more to their voters and less to pundits who labor under the delusion that Zelensky is the 21st-century Churchill. If they did, they’d be working to put a stop to a costly, unwinnable, and endless war in Ukraine rather than trying to make it even bloodier.

Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor in chief of, and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.


Tom Cotton: People Will Die Because Biden Traded ‘Merchant of Death’ for Brittney Griner

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) predicted on Thursday that leftist President Joe Biden’s decision to trade imprisoned basketball player Brittney Griner for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “merchant of death,” would result in people dying as rogue states interpreted the move as open season to arrest Americans.

Cotton’s remarks came in an appearance on the SiriusXM Patriot program Breitbart News Daily hosted by Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow.

Biden announced and the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that Griner and Bout were both free.

“As a result of the efforts made, we managed to agree with the American side to arrange an exchange of Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner. The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland,” the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Biden said he personally spoke to Griner in a post on Twitter.

Asked by Alex Marlow if people would die as a result of Viktor Bout being released from prison, Sen. Cotton answered in the affirmative.

“I think they will because, again, Viktor Bout is known as the merchant of death for a reason,” Sen. Cotton said. “It’s not like he’s going to retire to the Black Sea and peacefully live out his golden years in a quiet retirement. [Russian leader] Vladimir Putin wanted him out for a reason.”

Sen. Cotton also noted that his release would likely embolden the abduction and potential killing of more Americans.

“I also think that more Americans will be detained, in some cases unjustly detained, in the future because they realize that Joe Biden – at least as long as he is president – will give away the farm in return for any American citizen,” Sen. Cotton said.

Griner was arrested and sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia in August for possession of cannabis, prompting international outrage. American officials and activists condemned the Putin regime for sentencing Griner for so long on non-violent charges, an apparent political move to leverage her detention for Moscow’s benefit.

Bout was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for arms trafficking, aiding terrorist organizations, and conspiring to kill Americans. A notorious arms dealer with a lengthy career of aiding international terrorists, Bout was arrested in a sting operation in which American DEA officials posed as potential buyers tied to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist terrorist organization. The DEA officials explicitly stated they wanted to weapons to kill Americans, to which Bout allegedly replied, “we have the same enemy.”

Bout’s release comes two months after Biden similarly agreed to free Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, nephews of Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro arrested trying to traffic 800 kilograms of cocaine into New York. The cocaine reportedly belonged to the FARC.

Notably absent from the prisoner swap was Paul Whelan, a former Marine wrongfully imprisoned in Russia on unsubstantiated spying charges.

Sen. Cotton lamented that no reports indicated at press time that Whelan had been part of the prisoner swap deal, questioning why his release, given his totally unjustified imprisonment, was not a priority.

Elsewhere in the interview, Sen. Cotton condemned Biden for his “incredible appeasement of Vladimir Putin.”

“Viktor Bout has the blood of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocents around the world on his hands,” Sen. Cotton noted. “Don’t get me wrong, Brittney Griner was wrongly detained and used as a negotiating chip with the Biden administration and we should have been engaged in efforts to try to secure her release.”

“But to exchange her, who – to be fair – did violate the laws of a foreign country to which she was traveling, in return for one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers is folly to the greatest degree,” Sen. Cotton lamented.

“What does Joe Biden think is going to happen now?” he continued. “Every time someone wants to get their arms traffickers or their drug dealers out of American prison, all they have to do is arrest an American on some trivial charge and sentence them to nine years and Joe Biden is going to come running with the keys to the prison to release people who are justifiably in prison.”

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


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.


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.



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