Senate Confirms Democrat Lina Kahn as FTC Chair, Ending Partisan Split

On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the U.S. Senate confirmed Democrat Lina Kahn as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Kahn’s term will last through September 2024 as she takes over the position previously held by FTC Chair Joseph Simmons, who resigned in January 2021. With both Democrats and Republicans focusing on helping state and federal antitrust enforcers combat Big Tech’s expansive power, Kahn received bipartisan support with a 69-28 vote.

The confirmation of Kahn breaks the Commission’s previous 2-2 partisan split and provides Democrats with a 3-2 majority over Republicans. As a result, FTC leadership is expected to take a more aggressive stance related to antitrust and other enforcement issues. The Democratic majority may only last for short time, however, as fellow Democrat Commissioner Rohit Chopra has been nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Kahn previously worked in Rohit Chopra’s office, assisting with antitrust scholarship. She also served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, helping outline criticisms of Big Tech dominance.

 

*Aaron Parry contributed to this post