The White House is scrambling to pass a bill that would overhaul the way people buy and use online content, with a broad swath of lawmakers unlikely to agree on how to pay for it.
But one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, has already said he is ready to support any effort to change the way Americans access information online.
“I’m looking at it right now.
I think it’s a great idea,” Jordan said Tuesday during a briefing on Capitol Hill.
“We need to make sure we get this done, and we’re going to get this passed.”
Jordan is a co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Rep. Steve Israel of New York that would create an independent commission to study how to overhaul the nation’s online advertising marketplace.
The legislation would require websites and social media companies to give users more control over the way they use their online advertising space, something the Trump administration has said it wants to address.
Jordan, who has worked on internet issues for nearly a decade, is among several lawmakers who have signaled they may support the measure, which would also require Internet Service Providers to get federal approval for ads that run on their networks.
But Jordan said he and Cornyn are looking for a broad coalition of groups to join him in the effort, which he said would be more of a “grassroots movement” than a legislative initiative.
Jordan said the White House has been trying to develop a plan to update the way ads are being served online for months, but he’s “not sure that’s going to be easy.”
He said he’s hoping for a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, including Democrats and Republicans, to be able to support the bill.
“We have to figure out what we can get done, what is our common ground on this, so we can move forward,” Jordan told reporters.
“There are a lot of problems out there that have nothing to do with the White Houses and Congress,” he said.
“It’s all going to have to be bipartisan, and if we’re looking for common ground, it’s going be the Internet.”
The White House declined to comment on whether it has discussed the Jordan proposal with lawmakers or if they have yet received a response.
But the White of the House also said it was open to the idea of a broader, bipartisan approach to online advertising.
“The White is working hard to get online advertising right, and this bipartisan effort is essential to ensuring the American people get the ads they deserve,” White House Communications Director Michael Dubke said in a statement.
“There is nothing that could make this a more bipartisan bill.”
Democrats have signaled that they are ready to take a hard line on digital issues, but Republicans have resisted.
Cornyn has called online ads “fraud” that threaten consumers’ privacy and said he would introduce legislation to prevent the Trump Administration from using it to bully online publishers into changing their advertising practices.
“If they want to make it a political issue, fine.
If they want it to be a technical one, fine,” Cornyn said last week.
“But this is not a political fight, and it should be a technological one.”
The Trump Administration has already spent millions on lobbying to get the White to pass its proposal, which is expected to be reintroduced next week.
But it faces a steep uphill climb to passing the legislation in the House.
It is also expected to face fierce opposition from the internet giants themselves, which have threatened to pull advertising from Trump’s website, and other companies that have threatened a legal challenge.
The push for a bill from Republicans could face a setback if it is not approved by the Senate, where Democrats hold 52 seats.
That could leave the White on shaky ground if the measure fails to pass, as well as with the American public, which Trump has said he hopes will be swayed by the new information it will offer.
In his brief appearance Tuesday, Jordan said the Trump proposal would be good for the internet, and he said it would help ensure that consumers are “not misled” into buying things that don’t belong to them.
“I think it will help protect consumers,” Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
“It will help ensure consumers are not misled into buying stuff they don’t want.”
A spokesman for the White said Cornyn had no comment on Jordan’s comments.
Corny, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, has also voiced skepticism about the proposal.
Cornyn’s office said Corny had not been briefed on the proposal, and the White’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
But Cornyn did praise the idea, saying it would make consumers “very proud” to have online advertising available to them and that it would lead to a stronger economy.
“With online advertising, I’m looking forward to getting this done,” Corny said.