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Big tech antitrust bill in danger, Chuck Schumer says

US Capitol. Credit: Alejandro Barba

The Senate Majority leader doesn't believe that there are enough votes to pass the American Choice and Innovation Act, which is aimed at reining in the power of tech giants.

Sen. Chuck Schumer was recently asked the question by a group of donors at a fundraising event on Tuesday evening. Although Schumer called the bill a "high priority," he said the Senate doesn't have the 60 votes needed to pass it, Bloomberg has reported.

Schumer had pledged earlier in the year to bring the legislation to a vote this summer. He also noted that he was working with the lead Democratic sponsor of the bill, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Although putting the bill to a vote on the floor could pressure undecided lawmakers, Schumer said he doesn't believe that strategy will be effective. He has not previously publicly said that he believes the vote doesn't have a chance in the Senate, however.

The cosponsors of the bill maintain that they have the necessary votes from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to pass the legislation. However, the window to pass the bill is narrowing as many Congresspeople turn their attention to the November elections.

Earlier in July, Progressive lawmakers urged the Senate to hold a vote on the American Choice and Innovation Act, which would stop tech giants from preferring their own products and services over those of rivals.

Apple and other tech giants threatened by the bill have ramped up lobbying efforts in recent years as antitrust scrutiny has grown. Apple, for its part, is now spending more than it ever has on political lobbying.