Forty-four Democratic members of Congress are calling for a joint neutrality deal with Republicans, who have refused to support a full reinstatement of net neutrality laws repealed by Ajit Pai’s Federal Communications Commission.
The Democratic-majority U.S. House of Representatives voted in April to pass the Save the Internet Act, which would restore the FCC’s Obama-era collective bargaining rules. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declare money “dead on arrival” in the Republican-majority Senate.
Republican lawmakers say they will only accept a less stringent net neutrality rule — though large majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters support the FCC’s old net neutrality rules. On Wednesday, dozens of Democrats asked their party leader to compromise with the GOP leader.
“We, the unregistered, voted for (the Save the Internet Act) because it represents an opportunity to resolve questions that the courts have struggled with for decades,” Democrats wrote in a document. letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “At the same time, we know that this law is unlikely to become law, or passed by the Senate, in its current form. If this is true, consumers will be left without netion protections that were forced when of continued conflict. We believe this. The result is unacceptable and unnecessary.”
The letter to Pelosi was led by Reps. He went on to suggest that the House create a “separate task force” that would write neutral legislation acceptable to Republican lawmakers.
The GOP is seeking limits on net neutrality
In an unusual move, the Democrats’ letter has not been publicly released by Democrats — it is released instead by Republicans from the Home Business Committee.
“As the Senate begins its bipartisan negotiations on the federal antitrust bill, the House must also begin a process of divisive consensus building,” the Democrats wrote. “Different models for legislation can achieve our goals of providing power, the enforced net neutrality protection for consumers.”
The Democrats’ letter to Pelosi said the proposed divisive task force should be modeled on “the Wicker-Cinema activities in the Senate“Sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), only Senate Democrat WHO organization not guaranteed The Internet Privacy Act.
During House negotiations on the Save the Internet Act, Republicans proposed several amendments to weaken net neutrality laws. Among other things, these amendments would have exempted all 5G wireless services and all multi-gigabit frequency services from net neutrality rules, preventing the FCC from limiting certain types of zero-rate (zero).i.e, data cap exemptions) that ISPs may impose, and broadband classified as an information service. Decentralization would essentially shut down the FCC’s broadcast bill, preventing the FCC from imposing any common carrier regulations on ISPs.
While Republican lawmakers often support bans on freezing and tipping, they have also proposed laws that would allow prepayment, allowing Internet service providers to charge online services for faster access to Internet users. . The GOP’s proposed rules would also prevent states from issuing net neutrality laws that are stricter than those enforced by the federal government.
Net neutrality advocates protest
Consumer advocacy groups protested the Democrats’ call for a deal with Republicans.
“Poll after poll has shown that Republican and Democratic voters alike favor Title II (FCC’s) protections of the Internet Privacy Act being reinstated, and yet for some elected representatives the demands of the people have they represent it doesn’t. Especially as it bows to cable industry lobbyists who write big advertising checks,” Free Press President Craig Aaron tell. “The Speaker of the House and all members of Congress must see this great confusion for what it really is: not a bid for bipartisanship but a disservice and damage to AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from lawmakers who should know. best.”
Separately, the demand of Progress and 31 other advocacy groups sent it letter and Pelosi is urging him to reject the deal.
“The FCC’s expanded authority under Title II of the Communications Act is necessary to ensure net neutrality and to protect all Internet users from unfair, unfair, discriminatory, and monopolistic behavior by broadband providers,” the letter said. “Importantly, the Save the Internet Act also empowers the FCC to advance policy priorities with near-universal support, including promoting broadband deployment and universal service; affordable and equal access to broadband for all; the privacy protection for customers; and broadband networks that stand by. natural disasters and are quickly restored after outages.”
The Wicker-Cinema Caucus in the Senate should not be a model for developing consensus as it is “led by two Senators who have refused to support the common sense protections contained in the Save the Internet Act,” the letter said. the advocacy group said. .
We contacted Pelosi’s office about the Democrats’ letter, and we contacted lead sponsors of the Save the Internet Act in the House and Senate, namely Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). We will update this story if we receive any responses.
A lawsuit could bring back the full FCC rules
The Save the Internet Act is not the only option for restoring net neutrality laws. Federal appeals court judges are considering whether to overturn the FCC’s repeal, having recently heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed against Pai’s FCC by more than three dozen companies, including lawyers state governments, consumer advocacy groups, and technology companies such as Mozilla and Vimeo.
Democrats could also make net neutrality a campaign issue in 2020 and try to fully restore the rules if they win the Senate and the White House.
“With a lawsuit to overturn the FCC’s joint repeal currently pending, and with public support behind the Save the Internet Act, now is the wrong time to push for alternatives to the bill that passed last month,” the Progress letter said. said Pelosi.
Republicans are hoping that the current lack of net neutrality rules will convince Democrats to accept a set of rules that are weaker than those the FCC has previously imposed.
“We have long said that a proper, bipartisan legislative solution crafted in good faith with our Democratic colleagues is the only way to protect consumers, innovation, and an open Internet,” Reps. Greg Walden (R- Ore.), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) said in a speech yesterday. “We welcome the commitment of our colleagues, and hope that the group working in segregation can be a successful lobby for the law to end fair segregation.”