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ICYMI: House Republican Leaders Urge FTC to Forgo Their Efforts to Politicize the FTC


07.30.21

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Judiciary Committee Republican Leader Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Republican Leader Rep. James Comer (R-KY) today urged the Federal Trade Commission to abandon their efforts to politicize the independent and historically bipartisan agency and consolidate power within the Chair’s office. Recent actions taken by the FTC Chair will surely redirect resources from the agency’s respected fraud program and jeopardize scam protections for vulnerable Americans.

Excerpts and highlights from the Washington Examiner’s exclusive coverage: 

“The letter highlighted that during the first FTC meeting under Khan’s leadership earlier this month, the trade commission’s Democrats voted to approve four action items, each of them on a partisan basis, with no support from Republican commissioners appointed by former President Donald Trump.”

[…]

“For the past few decades, antitrust laws, which the FTC has responsibility for enforcing, have focused on protecting consumers from anti-competitive mergers and business practices, and the two Republican commissioners at the agency say the repeal of the policy could take the commission away from this consumer-focused tradition and lead it to overstep its bounds.”

[…]

“House Republicans say that the trade commission’s larger Democratic anti-monopoly agenda could distract it from focusing on protecting people from fraud, which the GOP sees as a key function of the agency.”

Key Excerpts from the letter to the FTC: 

“We write with serious concerns about the partisan actions of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Democratic Commissioners to consolidate agency power, unilaterally assert and expand regulatory authority, and abandon bipartisan and open processes. This ill advised power grab departs from existing FTC practice and tradition and will make the FTC more powerful and less transparent. These partisan changes will position the Biden FTC to reshape radically the American economy and, ultimately, harm American consumers, workers, small businesses, and traditions of free enterprise.” 

[…] 

“It is essential that Congress fully understand the scope and nature of the FTC’s actions, and the extent to which any of the actions have been unduly influenced by the White House. As our Committees continue their oversight of the FTC and consider legislation relating to the FTC’s scope and authority, please provide the following information: 

  1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the July 1, 2021, Commission meeting, including but not limited to the development, consideration and adoption of the actions taken at that meeting and the rationale for the meeting’s rushed timeline or the hearing of comments by the Commission after votes were taken;  
  1. All documents and communications referring or relating to instructions, directives, or commands given to FTC staff since June 15, 2021, to cancel public engagements or events;  
  1. A timeline for the FTC’s issuance of any rulemaking or guidance to replace the 2015 policy statement concerning unfair methods of competition, including an explanation for whether the public will have opportunity to submit written comments on a draft of that document and how the FTC will ensure its position reflects concerns or facts generated through public comments;  
  1. All documents and communications referring or related to the FTC’s proposal, development or implementation of policies or actions called for by or under the authority of Executive Order 14036;  
  1. All documents and communications between or among employees or officials of the Federal Trade Commission and employees or officials of the Executive Office of the President concerning items 1-4, above.  
  1. As similarly requested of Attorney General Garland on May 17, 2021, copies of all written communications between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FTC concerning H.R. 2668 or any drafts of the legislation since March 11, 2021.” 

CLICK HERE to read the full coverage from the Washington Examiner. 

CLICK HEREto read the letter from House Republicans to the FTC. 

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