Six senators — Al Franken, Bernard Sanders, Ed Markey, Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren, and Richard Blumenthal — have sent a letter to the FCC and the Justice Department asking them to block a proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast.
If some Republican senator sent a letter to the Justice Department on behalf of a campaign contributor asking for a merger or acquisition to be approved, doubtless it would be considered a scandalous interference. Even Democrats like Senator Menendez and Terry McAuliffe, Harry Reid, and Ed Rendell have gotten in trouble for advocating with the executive branch on behalf of businesses.
It's hard to discern exactly what the rule is when it comes to the appropriateness of congressional pressure on the executive branch regarding decisions involving individual businesses. Is the rule that if the politician intervenes to help the business, he gets in trouble, but if he intervenes to hurt the business, that's allowed? It's a puzzle.