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What's Next for Net Neutrality in Congress?

by Countable | 5.16.18

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a resolution to reinstate Obama era net neutrality rules that are in the process of being rolled back by the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The bill, which uses the obscure Congressional Review Act to overturn recently finalized rules now goes to the House, where it faces an uncertain fate.

It’s highly unlikely that House Republican leaders will schedule a vote on the Senate-passed net neutrality resolution, as the House’s passage of the bill would in all likelihood lead to a presidential veto which Congress would lack the votes to override.

GOP leaders might consider holding a vote is if a bipartisan agreement is reached on a legislative net neutrality fix, such as the Open Internet Preservation Act offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Her bill would ban the blocking and throttling of content while allowing paid prioritization. But so far, such an agreement has proven to be elusive as Democrats oppose the bill’s prioritization provisions.

House lawmakers who support the reinstatement of the Obama era net neutrality rules will try to force a vote by using a discharge petition, which lets rank-and-file members force a vote on a bill if 218 members sign the petition. Given that Democrats currently hold 193 seats in the House, that means 25 Republicans would need to support the discharge petition effort. (A similar effort related to a DACA fix is underway in the House.)

If the House’s net neutrality advocates are able to muster enough support to file a successful discharge petition, the question becomes when a vote would be held. Under House rules, successful discharge petitions are placed on the Discharge Calendar and given privileged consideration on the floor during the second and fourth Mondays of each month. There are only three such dates between now and the time the House departs for its summer recess: June 11, June 25, and July 23.

Hit Take Action to tell your reps whether they should support or oppose efforts to reinstate net neutrality rules and share your thoughts below!

— Eric Revell

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(Photo Credit: xxcheng / iStock)

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  • Ryan
    05/16/2018
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    I am thankful that the Senate did its duty and protected both Net Neutrality and the American people. I am extremely hopeful the House will now do its duty and follow suit.

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  • Hiro9
    05/16/2018
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    Only 3 GOP senators joined the Dems and Independents to pass this resolution. The talk is the GOP House won't even bring this to the floor for a vote. And 45 will veto it anyways. Can anyone tell me why nearly 100% of the GOP is ignoring the will of 86% of the people?

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  • Patricia
    05/17/2018
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    Any politician voting against net neutrality is voting against the interests of their constituents and in the interests of their high dollar corporate sponsors.

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  • Jennifer
    05/17/2018
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    No, Alex, the entire population of the United States does not want this. This is a Trojan Horse! Why exactly do you think Google supports this? Because it will squeeze out start-ups, and the little guy! It does exactly the opposite of what the left purports it to do, which is create a neutral playing field. It will stifle innovation. The Internet was phenomenally innovative and fair before Obama and the Net Neutrality crew got their hands on it. Please speak for yourself, not the rest of us more informed individuals who understand that government controls hurt and hinder, they create monopolies not deter them, they create unfair markets not free-markets, and they drive innovation away, replacing it with models of complacency...which at its heart is the death of innovation and fairness!

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  • NoHedges
    05/16/2018
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    No deal, if House reps want to dig themselves in deeper, so be it. Midterms are less than 6 month away. 🔥Paid priority is another path for elite to exploit. And I, for one, have had enough of the elite exploiting the system and draining everyone else's bank account dry while they are profiting hand over fist three quarter of the planets wealth.

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  • OlderNWiser
    05/17/2018
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    Net Neutrality provides freedom of speech, equality, and is necessary to protect Americans who are not obscenely wealthy from corporate domination and greed. It is nearly impossible to function without it. Destroying net neutrality is another attack on the American people by Putin’s people in the White House and the likes of a Paul Ryan, Mitch Mcconnell and the rest of the swamp.

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  • Robin
    05/17/2018
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    Very important that our House supports the Senate as midterms are coming and the majority of Americans (both parties) want Net Neutrality! Midterms, this will come back to bite those who don’t support their constituents!

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  • Chickie
    05/16/2018
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    Net neutrality is not a turkey; it should not be carved up to favor certain representatives special interests. Reinstate Net neutrality. Until our representatives understand, I will keep on saying ~ over 85% of Americans wish to reinstate Net Neutrality. If our representatives do not use their vote to represent their constituents, those representatives will find out what it means when a high percentage of constituents vote for someone else!

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  • Mark
    05/17/2018
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    How do we NEUTRALIZE CONGRESS AND THE ORANGE DOUCHEBAG? Just asking

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  • J. scott
    05/17/2018
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    Stop the nonsense people get back to work and pass real Net Neutrality not this fake nearly dead on arrival bill. We are not fooled. The people demand that you act now and fix this bill that’s basically on life support. We will remember in November. We tried will not suffice. Moreover, this bill as is doesn’t really change anything. Much work remains to be done.

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  • Barbara
    05/17/2018
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    Please take a stand and protect Net Neutrality. Remember We The People Of The United States of America want an Open Internet.

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  • Erin
    05/17/2018
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    To all the people on here saying Net Neutrality will stifle the Internet, you have been horrible mislead. Yes, the Internet flourished for decades because all parties involved agreed to adopt exactly that: Net Neutrality. We didn't have to legislate/regulate it then. The Internet has always been an open, neutral environment, until the telecoms decided they wanted larger profits at the expense of the public interest. What the FCC is doing in rolling this back is clearing the way to essentially kill that environment. Paid Prioritization and throttling is precisely what will stifle innovation and kill start-ups. It is exactly the opposite of how the Internet has always functioned. ISPs no longer wanted to honor the commitment to Net Neutrality, so regulating it became necessary. Rolling it back is a cash grab for large ISPs and will hurt the American people.

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  • Shiori
    05/17/2018
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    Of course they should reinstate Net Neutrality. Why wouldn't they? Because cable companies tricked people into thinking that you can't be a ___ and support this? This isn't a Republican or a Democrat issue. It's an issue of free speech, which, last I checked, 99% of people in America are for.

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  • Hearourvoice
    05/17/2018
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    85% of the public support net neutrality and our representatives need to hear & support us.

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  • phil
    05/16/2018
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    House must restore net neutrality!

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  • Sam
    05/17/2018
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    Net neutrality should be the law of the land. It is essential for liberty and free trade.

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  • Michael
    05/17/2018
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    That’s it! Congress is now defunct! They no longer represent the republic. They are only interested in their own power. There’s a reason the big ISP companies support this YOU MORONS! We have the healthcare insurance cartels, the education cartels, and now we’re going to have ISP cartels all using the government to protect themselves from competition and to drive up prices. THANKS TO ALL YOU IDIOTS!

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  • PatrickG
    05/17/2018
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    The House better follow suit, we're watching and are mindful that elections are coming in November friends down in DC.

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  • Hillary
    05/17/2018
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    We the people DEMAND net neutrality. Public servants are the servants of the people-not the corporations. In a representative government public servants speak the words of the people-not their own. In a democracy every vote is meaningful and counted. I call on you MIKE TURNER to uphold the duties for which you were elected. Your voting history shows a blind adherence to your party however once you have become an elected official it is your duty to represent ALL your constituents not the business interests of the corporations who bought your soul. You are directed by a staggering majority to reinstate net neutrality.

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  • Noelle
    05/17/2018
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    This is good news to the supporters of the issue. Let's hope that the house can follow suit. And I doubt that the Cheeto of the presidency will agree to the bill, but they DO have the power to FORCE a vote on the matter. We will fight until #netneautrality is safe....for good.

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