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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.).

AT&T in talks with Discovery to combine media assets

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T is in talks with media giant Discovery about merging its media assets, like CNN, TBS and TNT, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: A potential merger could allow AT&T and Discovery to better compete with entertainment giants like Disney and Netflix in the video streaming wars.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Franklin Graham worries Trump too old to run in 2024

Graham and Trump at a rally in 2017. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would "be a very tough thing to do," the prominent Christian leader told "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, was among Trump's earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders.