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Republicans mount fresh attack on Biden's progressive FTC chair Khan

·1 min read

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers launched a new attack against President Joe Biden's newly appointed Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan on Thursday, questioning her efforts to make the agency more transparent and more powerful in its mission to protect consumers.

In a letter to the FTC's commissioners, Republican members of Congress complained that in her first weeks "the Biden FTC is embarking on a rapid and concerted effort to upend long-standing bipartisan agency policy with little public notice or opportunity to participate."

The FTC declined to comment.

The letter comes a day after Republican commissioners bashed recent changes at the FTC in a hearing on Wednesday that followed a similar line of criticism. "Long standing norms and procedures have been jettisoned," Commissioner Christine Wilson, a Republican, told a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Under Khan, the commission has opened two of its meetings to the public in recent weeks and voted along party lines three times to make it easier for the agency to stop mergers that it considers anti-competitive.

In the letter, Representatives Jim Jordan, James Comer and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, all ranking members of House committees, echoed a complaint from commission Republicans that "made it much easier for the FTC staff to use compulsory process, like subpoenas and civil investigative demands," said this would reduce oversight, "and in some cases it violates the law."

(Reporting by Chris Sanders; editing by Diane Craft)