Public Knowledge Responds to Omnibus Spending Package

Congressional leadership revealed a $1.7 trillion deal to fund the U.S. government in 2023 but dropped popular antitrust bills designed to rein in Big Tech.

Today, Congressional leadership unveiled a roughly $1.7 trillion deal to fund the U.S. government through fiscal year 2023. The package includes provisions that would benefit consumers by taking steps towards promoting adoption of broadband through device access and assisting greater antitrust enforcement, but, unfortunately, abandons popular antitrust bills designed to rein in Big Tech. Public Knowledge looks forward to working with the new Congress next year to promote a competitive marketplace for Big Tech, help close the digital divide, and better protect consumers.

The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“There was much accomplished during the 117th Congress to make this one to remember. Infrastructure Week finally arrived and Americans are already realizing many of the benefits from that once-in-a-generation legislation. That said, much still needed to be done and, as is often the case, the omnibus spending bill was the last hope for most of the year’s remaining policy work. 

“Tech competition bills – which represented the most earnest effort in decades pursued on a bipartisan, bicameral basis – came extremely close. While Congress did move forward two provisions focused on beefing up antitrust enforcement by modernizing merger filing fees and updating state venue rules, they unfortunately held off on key legislation that would have promoted a competitive apps marketplace and prohibited anticompetitive discrimination by the largest tech platforms

“On the broadband front, Congress included the ‘COVS Act’ in the omnibus, which is commonsense legislation that would allow greater access to used computers for consumers that cannot afford such devices. This is an important step in creating greater digital equity. Unfortunately, Congress was unable to advance a legislative effort aimed at promoting a balanced approach to spectrum policy despite the tireless efforts by the committee, the administration, and others to find a compromise that would work.

“In summary, the work of the 117th Congress was substantial and even when they were unable to finish the work, they have laid a foundation for renewed effort in the 118th Congress. The team at Public Knowledge looks forward to helping, as we did with this Congress, move forward bipartisan legislation to promote competition and accountability in our tech sector, to advance efforts to close the digital divide, to promote balanced spectrum policy, and to ensure that all consumers have a right to privacy.”

Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at or 405-249-9435.