Democrats lost control of the House, but expanded their Senate majority, which Democratic senators will use to investigate price gouging and other injustices in America’s businesses. given greater authority to issue subpoenas to
Democratic committee and subcommittee chairs will ask companies to provide detailed information about how they price prescription drugs, health insurance plans and other products and services that have risen in price in recent years, they said. says.
It will also scrutinize company executives for private discussions about how they are responding to climate change and how they are using customers’ personal information.
They will also ask for answers about companies’ efforts to crack down on misinformation and inappropriate content directed at minors across social media platforms.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (New York) told reporters this week about expanding the Democratic majority to 51 seats: It would mean having the power of
“The power of subpoenas can address corporate corruption and inequality and other country-wide issues,” he said.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he plans to launch a survey of several industries. price increases in the pharmaceutical industry.
“We are working on our priorities now, not to mention the Commission has broad jurisdiction over health, labor and education. We are ready to take on a powerful special interest group in the United States,” he told Hill.
Sanders said there would be more power to dig into information about companies’ pricing practices, arguing that Congress has not done enough on the issue.
“We pay per capita twice as much for healthcare as any other country, and we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. So I think there are a lot of things to consider in those areas,” he said.
Fellow liberal-leading Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, Massachusetts) said she was “still working on a list” of industries to investigate, adding she had a “broad range” of industries.
“We have more tools for surveillance,” she said. “With the loss of the House, we have less room to pass legislation, but the Senate’s monitoring tools are sharper.”
Warren predicted that corporate CEOs would be more willing to comply with Senate Democrats’ information requests, knowing they could spend a day in court with subpoenas.
“Everyone knows that even if you politely ask for the attendance of a CEO or a billionaire, you may still get a subpoena,” she said.
The serious consequences of failing to comply with a congressional subpoena came after Trump adviser Stephen Bannon was accused of contempt of Congress this summer for failing to appear for a deposition and refusing to produce documents despite a subpoena. It was emphasized by being convicted of the crime.
He was sentenced to four months in prison.
In most Senate committees, the chair and minority members have permanent powers to issue subpoenas, but they must be used jointly.
If a senior member refuses to comply with the chair’s subpoena request, a majority vote of the committee is required to issue a request for testimony or documents.
Under the current organization of the Senate, where the seats on each committee are evenly split, it is very difficult for any Democratic chairman to collect enough votes to overthrow a senior Republican member who is hesitant to subpoena. It was difficult.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), a member of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee, said that due to the restrictions imposed by an evenly divided Senate, members of his party have been unable to ” I was detained,” he said.
“I couldn’t even think seriously about using investigative tools,” he said.
It will change from January.
“We do not intend to arbitrarily issue subpoenas without good reason because we want to maintain the authority and credibility of the process, which may be challenged in court,” said Blumenthal.
“I expect it to be focused and strategic,” he said.
Blumenthal, who will chair the Commerce Panel’s subcommittee on consumer production and product safety, held hearings about big tech companies pumping “toxic content” at children, but asked his questions. There were no supporting teeth.
“We had cooperation from big tech companies, but we didn’t have access to any documents that might have been obtained by force of subpoena, or perhaps even key witnesses,” he said.
Blumenthal said he called Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift tour ticket sales “a fiasco” when fans were barred from buying tickets, suffered various glitches, and had to wait hours. It states that it wants to take a closer look at what it called. everything. Some floor seats were offered for over $10,000, and he even over $20,000.
“While that merger is under investigation or Ticketmaster is under the Department of Justice, we have a responsibility to oversee potential abuses of our monopoly powers and abuses such as ticket seizures and sales to scalpers. There is,” said Blumenthal, referring to the merger of Ticketmaster and Live.Nation Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), who will take over as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has questioned what energy companies are going to say behind closed doors about climate change and their deliberations on private strategy. said he was interested in investigating whether there could be fundamentally different From their company’s public message of trying to stop global warming.
“I think the House has already done a good job in the oil and gas industry and has obtained a number of documents that show the inconsistency between voices outside the industry and what they say when they are talking internally. I think we can definitely continue to work on that,” the White House said.
“The industry’s true position becomes apparent when they talk green and think no one is listening,” he said.