Executives of the nation’s biggest tech companies have made huge donations to key lawmakers in recent months as Congress debates legislation that would reshape the industry.
The influx of donations came as the tech industry urged lawmakers to ditch antitrust legislation that could make it easier for regulators to break down tech giants. Tech companies have also pressured Senate leaders to prioritize a bill providing $ 52 billion for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.
Tech Executives Hand Biggest Checks To Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck SchumerTrump struggles to clear GOP ground in North Carolina Senate race The coalition urges the Senate to post bills and amendments online while they are still under consideration. Some good news in the battle to rebalance the courts MORE (DN.Y.), according to recent Federal Election Commission files covering fundraising from April to June.
More than two dozen Microsoft executives donated to Schumer’s campaign in June, collectively donating more than $ 116,000. Thirteen executives donated $ 5,800, the maximum allowed by law, including Microsoft President Brad Smith and Fred Humphries, who heads the firm’s lobbying team in Washington.
“These were contributions made by executives in their personal capacity,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.
Executives at Google and its PAC donated nearly $ 92,000 to Schumer’s campaign in the second quarter of 2021. Executives at Cisco Systems have donated nearly $ 100,000. Apple executives donated $ 28,000. Executives from Microsoft, Cisco and Apple had previously made no significant donations to Schumer in the first three months of the year.
Schumer, who is running for reelection in 2022, is leading Democrats’ legislative efforts while simultaneously raising large sums of money to ward off potential major challengers. Schumer raised over $ 11.5 million from April to June, a record.
Senator Patty murrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray Hospital and doctor groups sue Biden officials over surprise billing rules Pharmaceutical lobby sees parliamentarian as last resort for zero drug price measure Biden signs four bills to help veterans PLUS (D-Wash.) Has also received numerous donations from executives at Amazon and Microsoft, headquartered in his state. Amazon employees and its PAC donated around $ 67,000, while Microsoft’s donations totaled around $ 48,000. Murray, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, is running for re-election in 2022.
Tech companies have closely followed the bipartisan Senate bill to strengthen the United States’ competitiveness with China. In May, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple and Cisco formed the Semiconductors in America Coalition to ensure the bill includes billions for semiconductor manufacturing and does not prioritize semiconductor production. – conductors for other industries, such as car manufacturers.
“Federal investments in semiconductor technology will help ensure that more of the chips America needs are produced on American soil and accessible to the many critical sectors of the U.S. economy that depend on it, through benefit American workers, businesses and consumers, ”the group said in a statement after the bill was passed.
Amazon successfully lobbied senators to pass the bill without measures that would require online merchants to collect and verify information on third-party sellers, The Washington Post reported. House lawmakers are putting forward their own version of the multi-part bill.
The top priority for the tech industry is to defeat antitrust legislation that would drastically reduce the power of major tech companies. The House Judiciary Committee came up with a list of antitrust bills last month. Senator Amy klobucharAmy KlobucharSunday Shows Insight: Officials and Experts Respond to Omicron; Biden Administration Sounds Alarm Over Russia and China Your Congressman’s Must-Read Holiday Book List Hillicon Valley – Senators Unveil Social Media-Sharing Bill MORE (D-Minn.), Who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust Laws, said the Senate would introduce similar legislation.
Democratic representatives from California. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenLofgren: Many of the witnesses on the January 6 panel are former Trump officials., Eric swalwellEric Michael Swalwell Politics and Media Respond to Wallace News The Homicide Victims Families Rights Act will renew our commitment to supporting victims of crime. and Lou CorréaJose (Lou) Luis Correa91 House Dems Calls on Senate to Extend Immigration Protections in Biden Spending Bill Landmark Immigration Reform Included in House Spending Bill Advocates of immigrants publish “The Path to Citizenship in Five Steps” MORE voted against the most aggressive antitrust measures, arguing that they would do more harm than good. Executives from Apple and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, donated to Swalwell’s campaign the day before the committee marked the bill, according to the documents.
Lofgren received a few donations from technical staff in May and June. She received $ 5,000 from Timothy Powderly, Apple’s director of government affairs, who urged lawmakers reject antitrust legislation.
“We are concerned that many provisions of the recent package of antitrust reform laws create a race to the bottom for security and privacy, while undermining innovation and competition,” Powderly wrote in a letter to committee members. House Judiciary last month.
Two Republicans have joined most Democrats in supporting a measure that could allow regulators to dismantle the tech giants. GOP lawmakers and some tech companies have accused the democrats to word antitrust law in a way that would exempt Microsoft from scrutiny. Microsoft, which has reported lobbying on antitrust issues, said it was not seeking to be excluded from the bills.
The Hill has reached out to tech companies for comment. An Apple spokesperson noted that the company does not have a PAC.