WASHINGTON – Writing in RealClearMarkets, Competitiveness Coalition Chair Scott Brown warned lawmakers that FTC Chair Lina Khan’s outrageous four-fold budget increase request is a sure sign that her pursuit to impose her extreme antitrust agenda shows no signs of slowing down.
“Only in Washington D.C. would a record of failure and extreme recklessness translate to a 40 percent raise, especially as our nation hurtles toward a fiscal impasse and potential default, Brown states. “But that is precisely the request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its chair, Lina Khan.”
Brown emphasizes Khan’s transformation of the once reputable, bipartisan agency into an overly empowered government body with complete disregard for innovation and consumer welfare.
“Khan entered the picture, and everything changed. On her orders, the FTC has sent a chill to innovators and poured cold water on the economy writ large.”
Brown goes on to applaud congressional oversight efforts of Khan’s agency, and urges lawmakers to remain vigilant.
By Scott Brown
Only in Washington D.C. would a record of failure and extreme recklessness translate to a 40 percent raise, especially as our nation hurtles toward a fiscal impasse and potential default. But that is precisely the request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its chair, Lina Khan.
In less than two years in office, Khan has attempted to impose her antitrust agenda by fiat, only to be rejected by both the legislative and judicial branch. She has driven out the last remaining Republican-appointee on the five-person commission, who called Khan’s tenure as one of “continuing lawlessness.” Employee morale has plummeted, from second to number 22 on the rankings of “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.”
These are just some of the consequences of appointing untested academics to the highest echelons of government bodies.
Khan has pressed on with her progressive antitrust agenda, despite it sputtering out elsewhere. In Congress, the most aggressive and destructive pieces of antitrust legislation, most notably the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, failed to move forward before the House changed hands. House Democrats’ top antitrust ideologue, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), is heading for the exits, and his caucus is struggling to find a replacement. On the Republican side, one of Khan’s few GOP allies, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), is still smarting from being passed over for the gavel of the antitrust subcommittee by Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, known for his skepticism over undue government regulation. Massie described his stance toward antitrust issues as not “in the direction that Lina Khan wants to take it.”
Christine Wilson, the last remaining Republican appointee on the five-person Commission, announced her resignation in spectacular fashion, stating that Khan’s brazen attempts to remake federal antitrust law and general disregard for the Congressional rule of law had left her no option. Wilson added, “I have failed repeatedly to persuade Ms. Khan and her enablers to do the right thing, and I refuse to give their endeavor any further hint of legitimacy by remaining.”
As the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) deserves credit for prioritizing FTC oversight. Last summer, Jordan sent Khan a letter raising questions about her purported reliance on private consultants for tasks that should have been completed by public employees. More recently he threatened to subpoena the FTC for failure to comply.
Read the full op-ed at RealClearMarkets’ website here.