The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could see a boost to its budget as part of congressional Democrats’ sprawling US$3.5 trillion economic package, reported The Washington Post.
The proposal, unveiled by a panel of House Democrats on Thursday, September 9, would set aside US$1 billion for the FTC to create a new digital-focused division that would police privacy violations, cybersecurity incidents and other online abuses.
The new spending could represent a roughly 30 percent increase in the commission’s total projected appropriations over the next decade — money that could add more legal firepower to an agency whose resources are badly outmatched by many of the companies it regulates.
Democrats announced their plan as part of a broader effort to craft a roughly US$3.5 trillion economic package that encompasses President Biden’s fuller economic agenda. Party lawmakers envision the package as a sweeping overhaul of the country’s health care, education and tax laws, fulfilling promises they made during the 2020 election.
Once the total spending plan is finalized, Democrats hope to pass it using a legislative maneuver known as reconciliation. The move allows the measure to be enacted without risk of a Republican filibuster in the narrowly divided Senate, provided that Democrats stay united in their cause.
While much of the proposal remains unsettled, the process for now has opened the door for Democratic lawmakers to seek to advance some of their long-stalled policy priorities — including their repeated commitments to take aim at Big Tech.
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