Google’s policy chief, Karan Bhatia, will testify before Congress next week, Google confirmed Tuesday. It will mark the first time Mr. Bhatia is representing Google before lawmakers since he was hired as the tech giant’s head of policy last year.
Mr. Bhatia, whose formal title is vice president of government affairs and public policy, will appear on July 16 before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has repeatedly accused Google of anti-conservative bias. He’ll surely have to field questions about the political leanings of Google employees and whether the company’s search results are skewed against conservatives, accusations Mr. Cruz and others have lobbed at the search giant for years.
By sending Mr. Bhatia, a top-ranking official, Google is likely looking to avoid another dust-up on Capitol Hill. The company was lambasted for not sending CEO Sundar Pichai or Larry Page, the chief of Google’s parent Alphabet, to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last year, leaving an empty chair for a Google witness (the company had wanted to send counsel Kent Walker).
It is worth noting that Mr. Bhatia will head to the Hill as the company continues to search for a top U.S. lobbyist, a job that has been vacant since last November.