Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., announced the Pledge for America on Wednesday, urging GOP lawmakers to refuse campaign donations from Big Tech companies that oppose “the free exchange of ideas.”
The effort targets Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Twitter—all of which engaged in extreme censorship efforts during and after last November’s presidential election.
Buck, ranking member of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, said that the five tech giants have reached monopoly status by freezing out competitors who offer ideological diversity, such as Parler.
“The threat posed by these monopolies is a real and present danger to conservatives, libertarians and anyone who does not agree with these corporations’ ultra-liberal points-of-view,” Buck said in the pledge.
“These monopolies have shown that personal liberty can be threatened by corporate tyranny just as much as by government tyranny,” he added.”They have demonstrated that they are willing to relegate those who do not agree with their worldview to the status of a second-class citizen by cutting dissenters’ access.”
GOP Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Greg Steube of Florida, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Burgess Owens of Utah joined the pledge.
Big Tech’s censorship and anticompetitive behavior are a threat to every American’s liberties.
I am proud to announce I am joining @BuckForColorado to refuse any contribution from these companies. https://t.co/7lYnbn110A
— Congressman Dan Bishop (@jdanbishop) April 21, 2021
Critics said the pledge was mostly symbolic, as many of these companies donated very little to conservative candidates in the first place.
In fact, several of the woke companies have already issued their own symbolic pledges to cut off donations to conservative candidates who supported then-President Donald Trump ahead of the Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol.
Amazon and Google both specifically stopped donations to PACs for members who voted against the certification of the 2020 election results.
The New York Times noted neither Bishop nor Owens had ever received money from PACs excluded in the pledge.
Buck’s pledge, however, furthers the wording to also exclude receiving donations from the executives who work for companies in violation of the agreement.
The move follows an announcement earlier this week from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., that he planned to introduce anti-trust legislation to “bust up” some of the same companies for their anti-competitive business practices.
“Woke Big Tech companies like Google and Amazon have been coddled by Washington politicians for years,” said Hawley, according to Fox News.
“This treatment has allowed them to amass colossal amounts of power that they use to censor political opinions that they don’t agree with and shut out competitors who offer consumers an alternative to the status quo,” he said.
However, with a growing number of major corporations engaging in offensive, anti-conservative virtue-signaling, some Republican leaders have taken a different approach when faced with criticism for accepting funds.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., derailed a gotcha attack from CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin over his support for Georgia’s election-integrity law after accepting campaign funds from corporations like Walmart and Bank of America, which denounced it.
“It’s very simple, Andrew: I don’t endorse my donors’ agenda. They endorse my agenda,” Cotton said during a recent Squawk Box appearance. “They know that when they contribute to me—whether $5 or $5,000—that I’m going to do what’s right for Arkansas and what’s right for America.”
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.