It’s High Time GOP Congressional Leaders Rejected Big Tech Dollars

It’s High Time GOP Congressional Leaders Rejected Big Tech Dollars

If Congressional Republicans want to fight Big Tech, they need to stop taking money from Big Tech.

Facebook censorship board member Helle Thorning-Schmidt claimed on Thursday that free speech is not a human right. On the same day, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted the Biden administration is colluding with corrupt Big Tech companies to silence anything they deem “problematic” on social media.

There’s no denying Big Tech is the biggest threat to free expression in the United States and the most blatant violators of antitrust efforts. They silence conservatives, including a former US president and a member of Congress; participate in Orwellian reeducation initiatives; interfere in our elections; suppress anything deemed “offensive” or “disinformation”; help build China’s oppressive surveillance state; and obliterate alternative platforms by robbing them of digital infrastructure.

The only way to protect the First Amendment and make the digital sphere open to competition is for Congress to step in and upend Big Tech’s complete immunity from liability under Section 230 and break up the monopolies.

But how can Republican congressmen and women fight the tech oligarchs if they are simultaneously receiving tens of thousands of dollars from them? While Big Tech contributes significantly more money to Democrats, Republicans still receive a substantial amount of political donations.

Indeed, over 200 Republican members of Congress in the House and Senate received campaign contributions in 2020 from Political Action Committees (PACs) affiliated with Amazon, Google (which also owns Nest and Waze), and Facebook (which owns Instagram and WhatsApp). Twitter, Apple, and Snapchat do not appear to make PAC contributions to candidates.

In April, seven House Republicans vowed to reject any campaign contributions from Big Tech companies. Those Republicans include Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Chip Roy (Texas), Greg Steube (Fla.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Burgess Owens (Utah) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.).

Why didn’t House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy join them? Would that not have been a powerful statement? It’s probably because the biggest receivers of Big Tech donations aren’t the seven men who vowed to reject them, but members in GOP leadership and those who have significant influence in powerful committees like Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Financial Services, and Appropriations.

Following the certification of the 2020 presidential election, corporate America (including Big Tech) punished members of Congress who refused to certify the election by announcing a pause on donations for those who did not vote to certify. Their public announcement was a statement to America: Big Tech has power over Republican members of Congress.

This was all the more reason for Republicans, whether they voted to certify or not, to band together and tell Big Tech “we don’t need your money and we don’t want your money.” But — seven men excepted — they didn’t.

This election cycle is the year members of Congress must sever ties with Big Tech. They should not even take meetings with these companies, so long as they are actively building unethical Chinese spyware, annihilating American’s first amendment rights, and actively destroying any semblance of free and fair elections.

Here are 20 GOP Congressional leaders who took the most campaign contributions from Big Tech in 2020 and should take zero dollars in 2021, beginning with House leadership:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Republican Minority Leader

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $10,000

Facebook: $5,000

Total: $25,000

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Republican Conference Chairwoman and Member of Education and Labor, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees

Google: $10,000

Amazon: : $10,000

Facebook: $1,500

Total: $21,500

Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), Republican Whip and Member of Energy and Commerce Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $0

Facebook: $8,000

Total: $18,000

Rep. Drew Ferguson (Ga.), Chief Deputy Whip and Member of Ways and Means Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $1,000

Facebook: $5,000

Total: $16,000

Other representatives and senators who should stop accepting money from Big Tech include, in order of total donation amount from Google, Amazon, and Facebook:

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $10,000

Facebook: $6,000

Total: $26,000

Rep. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $5,000

Facebook: $9,000

Total: $24,000

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee

Google: $10,0000

Amazon: $8,000

Facebook: $4,500

Total: $22,500

Rep. Darin LaHood (Ill.), Member of the House Ways and Means Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $10,000

Facebook: $2,000

Total: $22,000

Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

Google: $9,000

Amazon: $6,000

Facebook: $6,000

Total: $21,000

Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $7,500

Facebook: $2,500

Total: $20,000

Rep. Robert Latta (Ohio), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Google: $7,500

Amazon: $7,500

Facebook: $5,000

Total: $20,000

Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $9,500

Facebook: $0

Total: $19,500

Rep. Kay Granger (Texas), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee

Google: $9,500

Amazon: $10,000

Facebook: $0

Total: $19,500

Rep. Brett Guthrie (Ky.), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Health and Oversight and Investigations

Google: $7,500

Amazon: $7,500

Facebook: $4,000

Total: $19,000

Rep. Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Google: $10,000

Amazon: $3,500

Facebook: $4,500

Total: $18,000

Rep. Michael Burgess (Texas), Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ranking Member of the House Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process

Google: $7,500

Amazon: $5,000

Facebook: $5,000

Total: $17,500

Rep. Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Ranking Member of the House Education and Labor Committee

Google: $7,500

Amazon: $10,000

Facebook: $0

Total: $17,500

Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Member of the Senate Small Business Committee

Google: $9,000

Amazon: $7,500

Facebook: $0

Total: $16,500 

Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Google: $4,000

Amazon: $7,500

Facebook: $5,000

Total: $16,500

Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Armed Services Committee

Google: $8,000

Amazon: $5,000

Facebook: $3,500

Total: $16,500

Evita Duffy is an intern at The Federalist, co-founder of the Chicago Thinker, and a senior at the University of Chicago. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1
Photo Congressional Republicans
Most Popular
Related Posts