“Fingers Crossed”: Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Flawed Tech Bill with Hope of Fixing on Senate Floor

By at 20 January, 2022, 3:21 pm

“So, fingers crossed,” says SBE Council’s Kerrigan.

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” (S.2992), a bill that includes a mish-mash of regulatory and anti-trust provisions that will have consequences – both intended and unintended – on small businesses, innovation, U.S. competitiveness, consumer privacy, and the overall health and vibrancy of the digital ecosystem. During markup, members on both sides of the aisle expressed serious concerns about the rushed nature of the legislation, the fact that the bill did not receive a formal hearing and vetting, and that consumers and small businesses would be negatively impacted by S.2992’s various provisions.  Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan, who wrote a letter to Committee members detailing various concerns with the legislation, issued the following statement on committee passage of S.2992:

“The visible rush to move S.2992 out of committee despite numerous serious concerns expressed by Senators is a disturbing development. As noted by both Democrats and Republicans on the committee, the legislation did not receive a full hearing, which brought up various significant issues. These concerns include the bill’s lack of clarity, confusion about what companies are covered, what triggers illegality, how provisions will benefit Chinese competitors, and how provisions will lead to the exposure of data and IP. Moreover, it was correctly noted that the bill is more about protecting competitors rather than consumers, and it will provide federal regulators with expansive new powers.

“Many Senators who voted to advance the legislation out of committee anticipate that these concerns can be fixed ‘later’ on the floor of the Senate. So, fingers crossed. But these are complex and serious issues that should have been fully explored and discussed in committee. That’s what hearings are for.

“Unfortunately, in its current form, S.2992 will disrupt and curtail market access for many small businesses, and alter the digital tools they have come to rely upon for survival during the ongoing pandemic. The national competitiveness and national security issues that Senators also brought forward during committee markup are quite significant. In our view, these significant issues are not fixable on the Senate floor.”


Karen Kerrigan, president & CEO,

Raymond Keating, chief economist,

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 27 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil



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