HR 3843, Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act
The House of Representatives today passed HR 3843, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, in a 242-184 vote.
The bill would increase filing fees on the largest transactions - up to $2.25 million for deals over $5 billion - and decrease fees for smaller transactions. Reorg summarized
the bill on Tuesday, Sept. 27, after that day’s House Rules Committee hearing considering the legislation.
The package also incorporates two other bills: the Foreign Merger Subsidy Disclosure Act
and the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act
Republicans on the House floor today criticized the bill on the grounds that it would further empower the FTC and the DOJ.
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., asserted that “there are no restrictions on the use of the additional funding that’s generated by these fees, and the FTC and the DOJ will have even more power to institute their bad policies,” before adding, “these institutions have been weaponized.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized the mechanism by which the funds would ultimately be used by the agencies, saying: “proponents of the bill are talking about how this would get resources to the agencies, while saying it doesn’t include an appropriation. This logic is laughable, we know where this money is going.”
In response to Jordan’s remarks, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., chair of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust Law, reiterated what he said at Tuesday’s Rules Committee hearing: “this bill does not fund a single additional dollar to any agency. This is a revenue generator, there is no appropriation.” Cicilline added that “the appropriations process will require this be treated like any other revenue the federal government generates and that the Appropriations Committee will, in regular order, decide how to spend the money.”
A Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, S.228
, is pending before the Senate. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, this week reiterated
their support of the package.
It is unclear when the Senate will bring the legislation to a vote. The Senate is currently scheduled
to be in session Oct. 11-14 and Oct. 17-21.