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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers outlined a plan for fellow Republicans to hammer Big Tech companies in a memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The "Big Tech Accountability Platform” serves as both a rallying cry for Republicans in the minority and an outline for some policy changes that could win bipartisan support.

Details: McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, suggests working with Democrats on an agreement to sunset or establish a reauthorization date for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a liability shield for online content posted by website users, as a legislative starting point.

  • Other ideas include revisiting platforms' October 2020 decision to limit the reach of a questionably sourced New York Post story on Hunter Biden, a nonstarter with Democrats.
  • But some closely mirror calls Democrats have made, such as exploring the power e-commerce giants exert in online marketplaces and pushing tech platforms to be more transparent and potentially legally answerable when it comes to moderation decisions.

What they're saying: "To be clear, we will not pursue government regulation of speech, but it’s a dereliction of our duty to our constituents to do nothing" McMorris Rodgers wrote in the memo, which was circulated to Republicans on the committee.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Podcasts

Rep. Ro Khanna on top tech priorities, including Robinhood and Section 230

Big Tech is something all Americans use and most Americans complain about, no matter their political affiliation.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the Biden administration's top Big Tech priorities, plus discussion of Section 230 and Reddit day trading with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

17 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.