Close this menu

Enough Is Enough: Khan’s FTC Abuses Highlight Why Congress Should Deny Her $535 Million Request

In a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan had the audacity to ask for a whopping 25% budget increase. That would amount to $535 million for 2025, up from the $425.7 million the FTC received this year. 

This brazen request comes amid widespread criticism of Khan’s leadership and the FTC’s overreach under her tenure and multiple public legal failures, including one on the same day Khan made the money demand. Multiple congressional investigations led by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees have uncovered troubling abuses of the agency’s current funding and statutory authority. Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for more of this overreach.

Khan has positioned herself as a progressive antitrust crusader. But in actuality, her activist approach to Chairing the agency has led the FTC down a path of regulatory overreach, dubious enforcement actions, waste of taxpayer money and a lack of respect for due process and the rule of law.

In February, the House Judiciary Committee released a bombshell report. This details how FTC Chair Lina Khan has grossly mismanaged the agency by consolidating power, sidelining career staff expertise, prioritizing ideological aims over sound enforcement, and fostering a toxic work environment rife with low morale and fear of retaliation. Internal documents and testimony from managers at the agency itself depict an FTC in chaos under Khan’s inept leadership, with her radical activist agenda hamstringing the agency’s law enforcement mission and undermining due process.

Khan also shifted the FTC’s mission to protect consumers. Under Khan, the word “consumers” was stripped from the agency’s mission, vision and strategic goals, and replaced with a focus on “fair competition.” This is a subjective, political term that specifically does not regard consumer preferences. 

This desertion of consumers can be seen in Khan’s policy decisions. She has overseen costly court losses, silenced staff, undermined morale, and launched meritless lawsuits – including against Amazon. These crusades are based on flawed theories that would ultimately degrade the company’s services, raise prices and harm Americans. Further, the FTC’s regulatory overreach pressure led to 31% job losses at iRobot after the company was intimidated into halting a merger with Amazon. It has also waged a frivolous lawsuit against Meta that lacks evidence or merit. 

Khan’s FTC has also pursued an over-aggressive merger review strategy, seeking to block a number of deals by rewriting merger guidelines in an opaque process without public input. This includes the FTC’s misguided attempt to stop Meta’s acquisition of the virtual reality startup Within, which a federal judge resoundingly rejected.

Given this litany of abuses, waste of existing resources, and unrestrained overreach from an ideologically-driven FTC leadership, Congress must reject Lina Khan’s audacious request for a budget increase. Rewarding such conduct would only further embolden this rogue agency to continue disregarding American consumers and disrespecting due process, ethical norms and the limits of its legal authority.

Rather than give more money and power, Congress needs to continue its robust oversight efforts of the FTC to rein in its overreach and restore proper checks and balances. Lawmakers should outright reject Khan’s $535 million FY2025 budget request until the agency gets its house in order.

Image generated by NetChoice using ChatGPT’s DALL-E.