Schumer's office says he plans to hold vote on tech antitrust bill

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Under fire from progressive advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation reining in Google, Apple, Meta and Amazon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to hold a vote on Sens. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) American Innovation and Choice Online Act.

“Sen. Schumer is working with Sen. Klobuchar and other supporters to gather the needed votes and plans to bring it up for a vote,” a spokesperson in Schumer’s Washington D.C. office said in a statement provided to POLITICO on Thursday.

A big step: The statement is the strongest indication so far that Schumer expects to hold a vote on the tech antitrust bill. As recently as last week, Schumer had appeared reticent to bring the bill to the floor, privately telling donors he did not believe there were enough votes to break a filibuster in the Senate.

The Schumer spokesperson did not respond to a question about when Schumer plans to hold the vote or if there is any timeline. Asked if Schumer is committed to bringing bill to vote, Klobuchar said: “He’s continued to be committed to the bill and committed to a vote in the fall. I don’t have an exact date.”

Not clear how seriously to take it: The quote claiming Schumer plans to bring the bill up for a vote originally appeared near the bottom of a New York Post article on Schumer’s son-in-law taking a job at private equity firm Blackstone that published Wednesday. But the back half of the quote, which claimed Schumer “plans to bring it up for a vote,” was scrubbed from that article sometime between publication and midday Thursday. The original quote was attributed to Angelo Roefaro, the press secretary for Schumer’s New York office.

A spokesperson in Schumer’s Washington office did not answer multiple inquiries asking if Schumer staffers pushed the Post to remove the second portion of Roefaro’s quote or discussed the quote with the Post after publication. The New York Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The bill: The legislation — the most serious attempt in years to tighten antitrust oversight of the tech industry — would bar top tech companies from prioritizing their products over competitors who rely on those companies to reach customers. Amazon, for example, would be barred from promoting its own private-label products over rival items on its e-commerce platform.

Not so fast: While the latest word from the majority leader’s office gives supporters of the bill new hope, it still doesn’t indicate that he believes 60 votes for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act currently exist in the Senate. Given the narrowing window to pass the bill, there may not be smooth sailing ahead.

Rebecca Kern contributed to this report.

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