Thursday, January 20, 2022

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Chuck Schumer’s Daughters Work for Amazon and Facebook as He Holds Power Over Antitrust Bill

Chuck Schumer's daughter, Jessica Schumer, is a registered lobbyist at Amazon. - Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: NY Post

Published: January 18, 2022

By: Lydia Moynihan

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is responsible for shepherding antitrust bills that aim to crack down on Big Tech — and both his children are on the payroll of companies the proposals would seek to rein in, On the Money has learned.

Jessica Schumer is a registered lobbyist at Amazon, according to New York state records. Alison Schumer works at Facebook as a product marketing manager.


Advocates of the legislation fear that the tech companies’ ties to Sen. Schumer’s children could create a conflict of interest, people close to the matter told On the Money. And they say Schumer’s familial connection to the tech companies is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cozy relationships some members of Congress have with the firms.

“When you put together the amount of money Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi made off tech with the fact that leader Schumer’s two kids work for giant tech companies, Democrats are going to have a very hard time explaining if major legislation doesn’t move forward this session,” one progressive operative told The Post.

“It’s not just a messaging problem — it also raises substantive concerns,” this person said. If you were a judge with a kid who worked for Facebook you’d recuse yourself from the case.”

The most immediate test will be on the so-called “non-discrimination bill” that would stop platforms from “self-preferencing” their content. For instance, Amazon would no longer be able to promote its own content over third-party sellers on its e-commerce platform. 

The bill could be ready for introduction as soon as this week. It is under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee — and assuming it emerges from the committee markup, it could be put to a vote in the coming weeks. Schumer, however, has yet to signal where he stands on it — or when he could introduce the legislation.

Chuck Schumer’s daughter Alison is on Facebook’s payroll. - Chuck Schumer/Twitter

A source close to Schumer says though the legislation is still in committee markup, the senator will back it once that process completes.”

As Senate Majority Leader, Schumer has the ability to decide what bills get put up for a vote.

Angelo Roefaro, a spokesman for Schumer, said in a comment to On the Money that there was “no basis” for the narrative of this story. “Sen. Schumer is championing these issues both legislatively and with his appointments to federal agencies. He will fight for action and success that delivers a fairer and more innovative playing field for all,” Roefaro said.

Representatives at Facebook and Amazon didn’t respond to requests for comment on behalf for Alison and Jessica Schumer.

Meanwhile, Jessica’s husband, Michael Shapiro, worked at Google’s Sidewalk Labs from 2017 to 2019, according to Shapiro’s Linkedin profile. He left the company in 2021 for a job at the US Department of Transportation. He also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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