Fight to Save Net Neutrality Isn’t Over
June 11, 2018
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) emphasized today that the fight to save Net Neutrality isn’t over, even though the FCC order ending the federal Net Neutrality policy takes effect today.
“Americans lost an important right today when the FCC’s order nullifying the federal Net Neutrality policy went into effect,” Congressman Doyle observed. “People won’t see any major changes today, but unless Net Neutrality is restored, consumers, innovators, and small businesses will see their service deteriorate, their choices decrease, and their costs go up over time as Internet Service Providers start throttling internet speeds, blocking content, and prioritizing content to hurt their competitors.”
“An overwhelming majority of Americans support Net Neutrality, but the FCC has nevertheless refused to be guided by the will of the people," he added. "It’s still possible to save Net Neutrality, however. The Senate has voted to overturn the FCC order that killed off Net Neutrality. Now the House must do the same. Since the Speaker opposes Net Neutrality, the only way to get a vote on it is with a ‘discharge petition’ that would force a vote in the House on the legislation to save Net Neutrality. 170 Representatives have signed the discharge petition so far. We just need to get 50 more to get a vote.”
On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to reverse the Open Internet Order, which regulates Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in order to ensure net neutrality. Net Neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can’t discriminate against different types of Internet content; the Open Internet Order prohibited ISPs from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against any internet content – as well as from charging more to deliver content faster. Repeal of the Net Neutrality rules will lead over time to higher prices for consumers and small businesses, slower internet traffic, and possibly even blocked websites.
Under the Congressional Review Act, members of the House and Senate can offer a joint resolution of disapproval on any regulation recently issued by a federal agency. Earlier this year, Congressman Doyle introduced legislation (H.J.Res. 129) in the House to overrule the FCC’s action, and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a counterpart bill in the Senate (S.J.Res. 52). The Senate bill was approved in May by a vote of 52 to 47.
Congressman Doyle has filed a discharge petition to bring the legislation to save Net Neutrality up for a vote in the House, and if a majority of the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sign that discharge petition, House rules (specifically Rule XV, clause 2) mandate that it be voted on by the full House.
Click here to see the list of Representatives who have signed the Net Neutrality discharge petition.