Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Thursday the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) will be delayed as lawmakers hash out disagreements over content moderation provisions in the bill.

Durbin said the JCPA will be “held over” as lawmakers “work on it” and conversations between Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) have been “productive.”

Last week, as the committee moved to advance the bill, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered an amendment to ensure that discussions surrounding content moderation would not be included in negotiations between media cartels and big tech. Cruz offered the amendment to ensure that big tech and media conglomerates would not use the negotiations as a platform to censor free speech.

The amendment passed after Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) was not able to appear at the committee hearing, and Kennedy approved the amendment. The rupture between Kennedy and Klobuchar led the Minnesota Democrat to admit that the deal between her and Kennedy blew up.

In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Cruz called the bill’s delay a “huge victory” for free speech.

Defenders of the legislation have said that the bill could use used to suppress “misinformation.”
Blake Reid, a University of Colorado law professor who specializes in technology policy, said that when the focus becomes content moderation bipartisan support “starts to crumble or at least get more complicated.”

Tom Hebert of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) wrote of Thursday’s hearing:

JCPA’s ultimate fate remains to be seen. One thing is for certain – the fact that Klobuchar would rather tank her own bill than address conservative censorship concerns should cast a large shadow on any content moderation language Klobuchar may add to AICOA. Republicans should stay far away from Klobuchar’s antitrust pet project, no matter what form of it she tries to ram through Congress before the midterm elections.

Breitbart News reported on Wednesday that Klobuchar’s potential presidential ambition may be casting a cloud over the JCPA. Congressional aides also told Breitbart News on Wednesday that they did not see how Kennedy and Klobuchar could strike another agreement ahead of Thursday’s Judiciary hearing.

One aide said, “I just don’t see how they can not pull it [the JCPA]. I just don’t see how she is going to reach an agreement with Kennedy and Cruz before Thursday morning.”

“Sen. Klobuchar clearly isn’t interested in actually passing legislation to rein in Big Tech — just look at the JCPA markup,” another congressional aide told Breitbart News.

“It was sloppy committee work and arrogance to not do a proper whip count beforehand. But it doesn’t matter to her. It’s all about looking like a fighter for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, so they’ll support her next presidential run.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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