"US Capitol" by kidTruant is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This week, the House will reportedly vote on H.R. 3843, the “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act,” legislation that would give the Biden Administration hundreds of millions in new funds to pursue a progressive social agenda.

There is no need to give Democrats this massive win before the midterm elections. All Republican lawmakers should vote no.

Now is not the time to give the Federal Trade Commission, which is currently run by an activist hostile to American business, additional funding to micromanage the U.S. economy. H.R. 3843 increases merger fees for certain transactions above a government-determined size. 

Some have claimed that the bill will not lead to more money for the FTC or Department of Justice because it does not increase appropriations for those agencies. While this is technically true, it is only half the story. The fees will go to the Treasury Department, which Democrats will then steer back to the FTC and DOJ. As a whole, the bill would shovel hundreds of millions of dollars to the Biden FTC and DOJ. 

Empowering the woke FTC should set off alarm bells for all Republicans. In a recent keynote address, FTC Chair Lina Khan lamented that the government does not do enough to shape “economic outcomes” and attacked the free market as a “product of metaphysical forces.” Khan proposed a “paradigm shift” that would allow antitrust to direct specific economic outcomes via government and legal “intervention.” Khan’s progressive colleague, Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter, recently called for an “equity-focused lens in antitrust enforcement” and advocated the use of antitrust law to “make our nation and economy more equitable.”

Instead of protecting consumers, Khan and Slaughter want to use antitrust law to browbeat companies into pushing woke social goals. If the Left believes a company is not doing enough to address income inequality or “climate justice,” Khan will use antitrust law to force companies to go woke or go broke.

While some supporters are framing the vote on H.R. 3843 as a vote to rein in Big Tech, nothing in the bill will address legitimate concerns over Big Tech targeting of conservative voices online. As House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) noted, giving Biden bureaucrats more resources will not end well for conservatives.

There is no need for any Republican to put their fingerprints on a bill that would help the Biden Administration pursue its woke agenda, especially before the midterm elections. Adding insult to injury, nothing in the bill would come close to addressing Big Tech targeting of conservatives. All Republicans should vote no on H.R. 3843.