Senators Unveil Comprehensive Bipartisan AI Regulatory Framework

United States Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have recently introduced a comprehensive framework for the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). This bipartisan initiative is seen as a significant stride towards establishing concrete AI safeguards and managing the potential benefits and risks associated with this emerging technology.

The framework proposes mandatory licensing for AI firms, which would be overseen by an independent regulatory body. AI model developers would be required to register with this entity, which would also have the authority to conduct audits of these licensing applicants.

In addition, the framework seeks to clarify that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which offers legal protections to tech firms for third-party content, does not extend to AI applications. It also advocates for corporate transparency, consumer and child protection, and national security safeguards.

Blumenthal and Hawley, who head the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law, have also announced plans for a hearing featuring testimony from key industry figures like Brad Smith, the vice chairman and president of Microsoft; William Dally, the chief scientist and senior vice president of research at NVIDIA; and Woodrow Hartzog, professor at Boston University School of Law.

This new framework was unveiled ahead of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s AI forum, scheduled to feature leaders from major AI companies sharing insights into the potential advantages and risks of AI. Schumer had previously introduced his own AI framework in June, which outlined a broad range of fundamental principles, contrasting with the more detailed measures proposed by Hawley and Blumenthal.

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Jack McPherrin ([email protected]) is a managing editor of, research editor for The Heartland Institute, and a research fellow for Heartland's Socialism Research Center. He holds an MA in International Affairs from Loyola University-Chicago, and a dual BA in Economics and History from Boston College.