Senators propose ban on FTC ‘zombie votes’

The Republicans’ laws would require the FTC to concern a rule that bars a commissioner’s votes from having an impact after she or he leaves the company.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, the highest Republican on Senate Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, and John Thune, the No. 2 GOP senator, are co-sponsors together with Missouri’s Roy Blunt, Wyoming’s Cynthia Lummis and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson.

The backstory: The FTC is cut up 2-2 between Republicans and Democrats since Chopra’s departure, a impasse that has hampered a few of Khan’s priorities and will impede the company’s selections on issues reminiscent of its antitrust probe of Amazon.


On his remaining full day as an FTC commissioner, Chopra proposed and forged votes on greater than 20 coverage statements, circumstances and potential rule-makings. Each Chopra and the FTC have defended the legality of his votes, saying the FTC’s policy since 1984 is to depend the votes of departing commissioners except they’re outmoded by a vote of their successor.

To this point, the company has used solely one in all Chopra’s votes, issuing a policy statement on Oct. 25 restricting some mergers by a 3-2 vote. The FTC’s two GOP commissioners, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, castigated the FTC for utilizing what they termed Chopra’s “zombie vote.”

Bedoya delay: A number of GOP senators raised issues in regards to the apply, asking Alvaro Bedoya — President Joe Biden’s choose to exchange Chopra — about his views on the usage of his predecessor’s votes. Bedoya, a Georgetown Regulation College privateness knowledgeable, mentioned he must analysis the problem additional to develop a view.

Within the meantime, Republicans are slow-walking Bedoya’s nomination.

On Wednesday, all the Senate Commerce Committee’s GOP members voted in opposition to his affirmation, deadlocking the panel. The 14-14 tie vote means Democrats might want to take additional Senate ground time and conduct a collection of three votes to be able to verify Bedoya to the FTC — time the chamber isn’t more likely to have this month since its agenda is already full of must-pass objects.

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