Dunn: Tech giants make empty promises

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This past week has been a busy one for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

On Monday, the full committee met to discuss the future of our nation’s infrastructure and economy. Committee Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers said it best: “For the economy to boom again, we should be lifting the regulatory burden.”

Prior to the pandemic, our economy was booming because there was less government interference. If we want to boost our economy, the government must get out of the way of innovation.

On Tuesday, the subcommittee on health reviewed 18 bills geared towards expanding health coverage and lowering costs. While this is an issue I care deeply about, I do not agree with government-run health care. Americans should get the best quality of care for a reasonable price. More government is not the answer.

On Wednesday, the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations met to discuss the recent grid failure in Texas. The Texas energy crisis should serve as an important example for policymaking for years to come. Firm and resilient baseload energy generation must be a priority for every state in the union. We need to make it easier to keep our existing nuclear reactors online as well as to construct new ones.

Thursday’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce hearing was the most publicized this weekend as we had the opportunity to speak with the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Social media has grown into a beast that negatively impacts our children, our elections, and our national security. My colleagues had a lot of wonderful questions about censorship and how social media is affecting our youth. I focused on national security.

We all recognize that China is not a good place to do business, evidenced by the fact that Facebook, Twitter, and Google products are banned there. But that has not stopped these companies from doing business with China. I am deeply concerned with Google’s pursuit of and investment in artificial intelligence (AI) research in China, which has been widely reported over the last few years. When I asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai if he can assure Americans that their personal data is not used in your AI collaboration with the Chinese Communist Party, he denied involvement with China… but Google has three AI research centers in China.

All in all, these companies continue to make promises to Congress to address our concerns, but they are empty promises. I hope that we can continue to keep a close eye on this issue as it has a much heavier impact on society than many realize.

This article originally appeared on The Star: Dunn: Tech giants make empty promises

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