Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 29, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NEGUSE. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Nadler for his leadership and for yielding the time. I also thank my good friend and colleague, Mr. Cicilline from Rhode Island, who chairs the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee in the House. I have had the privilege of serving with him in the last couple of years, including as vice chair of his subcommittee, during the course of the bipartisan antitrust investigation that we undertook in the 117th Congress.

I am here today, Madam Speaker, to rise in support of my bill, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act.

The current filing fee structure established in 2001 does not match ongoing merger activity by American businesses. That is why this bill is not a particularly complicated or complex bill. We know these mergers require thorough review by our antitrust enforcer agencies, because it has allowed larger businesses to avoid paying their fair share and hurting small, mid-sized, and medium-sized businesses.

This bipartisan legislation adjusts that antiquated merger filing fee structure and fixes the filing fees to the Consumer Price Index. The bill includes a number of other provisions that I know have been discussed at great length today.

Let me just say it is a commonsense policy that ensures Federal antitrust enforcers have the income to support, ultimately, this important work that they are doing.

But I have to say I have been a bit shocked by the tenor of the debate on the House floor today.

Just to reiterate something that I think the chairman articulated previously, this is a bipartisan bill. Every Senator voted for it. I imagine that the ranking member's objections come as some shock to Senator Cruz or Senator Lee or Senator Hawley. These are not Democratic Senators, they are Republican Senators, and they support this bill. I am befuddled as to understanding why the ranking member doesn't.

In any event, it is a good bill, it merits the support of Members on both sides of the aisle, and I am hoping that the ranking member may see the light when the vote comes up.