Schumer rips FCC's net neutrality repeal, backs effort to overturn decision
ALBANY — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday threw his support behind legislative efforts to restore so-called net neutrality.
Schumer, a New York Democrat, said he would back a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn this week’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal regulations that barred internet service providers from blocking or slowing web traffic.
“The bottom line is: America depends on a free and open internet to spur innovation and job creation,” Schumer said at a Manhattan press conference with tech industry leaders.
Schumer said the repeal of net neutrality rules was a “Christmas gift from the FCC” to major broadband providers that would harm consumers and make it harder for start-up companies to get off the ground.
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New York Daily News
Don't have link but just read that a California state congressman has introduced legislation that would require internet providers comply with net neutrality before they could operate in the state.
Skepticism Greets Republican Plan to Restore Net Neutrality Rules
A key Republican lawmaker has offered legislation to restore net neutrality protections that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission yanked last week.
“Our goal is to preserve access to a free and open internet and to make certain that we’re continuing to see innovation in this space,” Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
But while Democrats have objected to the FCC’s action, they have been skeptical of open-internet proposals from Republicans that would crimp the agency’s future ability to oversee broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp.
Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Blackburn’s bill “doesn’t just rip authority away from the FCC to protect consumers, it goes further to undermine the very spirit of net neutrality by allowing broadband providers to establish internet fast and slow lanes.”
“We are at the point of litigation, not legislation,” as groups look to federal courts to overturn the FCC’s decision, he said.
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https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/i ... neutrality
The Little-Known Congressional Procedure That Could Save Net Neutrality
A law called the Congressional Review Act allows Congress to follow special expedited procedures to overturn agency actions with which it disagrees. Congress has 60 legislative days to act once the agency action has been formally posted and presented to the House and Senate. (Given the convoluted way that Congress counts a legislative day, our best guess is that the clock would run out in early to mid-June or so.) While the countdown hasn’t started yet, Democrats announced today that they have succeeded in getting the minimum 30 names necessary to force a vote.
The Senate is a famously slow and deliberative chamber, where oftentimes one senator can block a bill from moving — and even if it moves, the bill needs 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. The Congressional Review Act has special provisions that negate some of these procedural quirks. As with any piece of legislation, a joint CRA “resolution of disapproval,” filed in both chambers, is referred to the committee that has the relevant jurisdiction. With most pieces of legislation, a committee chairperson who doesn’t like a bill simply refuses to let his or her committee act on the measure. But under the Congressional Review Act, 20 calendar days after the measure is given to the committee, the measure moves to the floor once 30 senators have expressed support for it in writing. Since 37 Democratic senators have already signed on to this proposed resolution of disapproval, they’ll now be able to force a vote after the committee receives the resolution.
The Senate majority leader controls the calendar and the agenda, together with the senators from his party. But under the CRA, any senator can bring up the joint CRA resolution for a vote at any time once the 30 senators have removed the matter from committee. Debate in the Senate is limited to 10 hours, after which the vote takes place. Most importantly, the resolution only requires a majority of votes to pass in the Senate — meaning, if the Democrats are united, they only need two Republicans to join them.
[T]here are no special rules in the House to guarantee a vote on the CRA resolution. But under the regular rules of the House, there is a mechanism allowing the discharge of a bill from committee along similar procedural lines as the CRA allows in the Senate. Unfortunately, a discharge petition in the House requires a full majority of the chamber — a much taller task than what the special minority rights provision enables in the Senate.
If Trump were to veto the resolution, Congress could overturn that action with a two-thirds vote in each chamber, as with any other bill.
“A black woman can invent something for the benefit of humankind.” -Bessie Blount-Griffin, physical therapist, inventor of devices for disabled WWII veterans, and forensic scientist.
NBC News: Senators force vote in last-ditch attempt to save net neutrality
The House of Representatives and Donald Trump would still need to support undoing the FCC's vote to take a 'light-touch' to regulating the internet.
The Verge: The Senate has forced a vote to restore net neutrality
Senators expect a vote next week on a new resolution to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order
I am not "someone upthread".
Trump needs to be smashed into some kind of inedible orange pâté.
Trump needs to be smashed into some kind of inedible orange pâté.
Dems to force Senate vote on net neutrality bill Wednesday
Democrats will force a Senate vote on Wednesday on a bill that would save the Federal Communication Commission's net neutrality rules from repeal.
Senate Democrats filed a discharge petition on the bill last week, starting the clock on the long-shot effort to preserve the Obama-era consumer protections.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would use authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify the FCC’s vote in December to roll back the rules. Under the CRA, lawmakers can force a vote in the Senate with just 30 lawmakers on board.
The bill currently has 50 backers in the Senate, including every Democrat plus Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Democrats need one more Republican to cross the aisle for 51-vote majority, but with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) away from the Senate as he battles brain cancer, the math might be on their side.
In last-ditch effort to save net neutrality, lawmakers question FTC regulatory capabilities
Democratic lawmakers are mounting a last-ditch effort to save net neutrality ahead of a crucial Senate vote on Wednesday, citing concerns that network providers could implement unfair business practices as the internet’s regulatory agency shifts from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FCC’s Internet Freedom Order, a new FCC rule meant to undo Obama-era internet regulations scheduled to take effect on June 11, will repeal net neutrality rules and make the FTC responsible for oversight of the internet. The order has stoked the fears of consumers, as deregulation of internet service providers (ISPs) could allow monoliths like Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast to “throttle,” or prioritize, different traffic across the internet. One could ultimately, for example, pay a premium to stream a movie online versus merely reading an article.
Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), lawmakers have 60 legislative working days after a rule or regulation is implemented to review and repeal it, and Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, is leading an effort to repeal the FCC’s Internet Freedom Order and reestablish net neutrality at the federal level, highlighting, among other issues, the FTC’s lack of “rulemaking authority.”
“If the FTC has jurisdiction and internet service providers do not support net neutrality protections, there’s nothing the FTC can do to stop internet service providers from setting up online fast and slow lanes,” Markey told ABC News. “The FTC is simply not equipped to protect the free and open internet. It lacks rulemaking authority and has limited tools for preventing blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization by internet service providers.”
The US Senate votes in favor of restoring the FCC's net-neutrality rules ...
Three Republicans joined with all 47 Democrats and two Democratic-leaning senators to back the measure. ...
Though the vote on the measure has been expected for months, its outcome had been uncertain going into the vote. Fifty senators previously declared their support for it — one shy of the majority needed to pass it.
In the end, forty-seven senators — all Republicans — voted against it. Sen. John McCain, who is ailing with a brain tumor, did not vote. ...
For nearly all of the past 10 years, the FCC has had in place rules that sought to guarantee net-neutrality protections. The latest version of the agency's rules, from 2015, barred internet service providers from blocking, slowing, or giving preferential treatment to particular online sites or services.
The FCC's new anti-net-neutrality regulation, set to take effect next month, eliminates those prohibitions. Instead, it simply requires providers to disclose how they handle internet traffic. It also hands off to the Federal Trade Commission the job of ensuring providers abide by the terms they've disclosed and watching out for anticompetitive behavior.
That the FCC overturned its net-neutrality rules was no surprise. Ajit Pai, the new chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, made clear that he opposed them and would seek to eliminate them when he took over as the FCC's head.
After Senate victory, House announces plans to force its own vote on net neutrality
Hot on the heels of a surprising 52-47 Senate disapproval of the FCC’s new, weaker net neutrality rules, the House of Representatives will soon attempt to force a similar vote under the Congressional Review Act. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) announced in a statement and at a press conference following the Senate vote that he will begin the process first thing tomorrow morning.
“I have introduced a companion CRA in the house,” Rep. Doyle said, “but I’m also going to begin a discharge petition which we will have open for signature tomorrow morning. And I urge every member who’s uproots [sic] a free and open internet to join me and sign this petition so we can bring this legislation to the floor.”
The CRA requires Senate and House to submit the resolution itself, in the former’s case Joint Resolution 52, after which a certain number of people to sign off on what’s called a discharge petition, actually forces a vote. ...
But in the House a majority is required, 218 at present. That’s a more difficult ask, since Democrats only hold 193 seats there. They’d need two dozen Republicans to switch sides, and while it’s clear from the defection of three Senators from the party line that such bipartisan support is possible, it’s far from a done deal. Today’s success may help move the needle, though.
Should the required votes be gathered, which could happen tomorrow, or take much longer, the vote will then be scheduled, though a congressional aide I talked to was unsure how quickly it would follow. It only took a week in the Senate to go from petition to floor vote, but that period could be longer in the House depending on how the schedule works out.
Justice Dept. investigating millions of fake anti-net neutrality comments
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly investigating millions of anti-net neutrality comments falsely attributed to individuals to see if any criminal action occurred.
BuzzFeed News reported Saturday that the DOJ has delivered subpoenas to at least two organizations after people's identities were posted without their permission.
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) public comment process on proposed net neutrality restrictions has been mired in controversy over the past year.
The Obama-era rules prevented internet providers from choosing which web traffic gets to flow at full speed. The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines last year to scrap the rules.
An October study found that out of the 22 million comments posted, only 800,000 were unique and 99.7 percent of those were in favor of maintaining net neutrality.