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Repeal of Net Neutrality Gets Underway This Week and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 5.17.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. The Republican push to repeal net neutrality is likely to get underway this week

Federal regulators are expected to roll back one of the Obama administration's signature Internet policies this week, launching a process to repeal the government's net neutrality rules that currently regulate how Internet providers may treat websites and their own customers.

The vote on Thursday, led by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, will kick off consideration of a proposal to relax regulations on companies such as Comcast and AT&T.

If approved by the 2-1 Republican-majority commission, it will be a significant step for the broadband industry as it seeks more leeway under government rules to develop new business models. For consumer advocates and tech companies, it will be a setback; those groups argue that looser regulations won't prevent those business models from harming Internet users and website owners.

Read more at the Washington Post.

Read more at Countable.

2. US extends Obama-era sanctions relief for Iran

The Trump administration will continue nuclear sanctions relief for Iran, keeping in place the Obama-era nuclear deal.

But the U.S. will also impose new economic penalties related to the country's missile work. Those sanctions will target military officials, according to the Treasury Department, as well as a China-based network accused of supplying ballistic missile material to Iran.

That represents a departure from President Trump's comments on the campaign trail against the nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama, who also renewed a series of waivers to U.S. sanctions on Iran shortly before leaving office in January.

Read more at The Hill.

3. Ivanka Trump hosts anti-human trafficking event amid White House chaos

"We have been conducting interagency meetings to understand the scope of the issue (of human trafficking), as well as gathering recommendations from the academic, public and private sector," Ivanka Trump, a top White House adviser, said in the Roosevelt Room. "Today, we bring an additional and critical group to the table, legislative leaders, to discuss concrete steps through legislation."

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers joined Trump, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Heidi Heitkamp, as well as anti-human trafficking experts and leaders.

Read more at CNN.

4. U.S. weapons help tighten noose on ISIS, but 1 ally isn't happy

New weapons sent to the Kurdish forces from the U.S. -- mortar shells, artillery and armored vehicles -- will help them tighten the noose on ISIS.

But those weapons have also infuriated Turkey, a key U.S. ally in the tumultuous region. It says the Kurdish fighters are linked to terrorists, accused of carrying out a spate of suicide bombings inside that neighboring country.

Read more at CBS News.

Read more about the arms deal at Countable.

5. Trump’s first full education budget: Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice

Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.

The documents — described by an Education Department employee as a near-final version of the budget expected to be released next week — offer the clearest picture yet of how the administration intends to accomplish that goal.

Read more at the Washington Post.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Backbone Campaign via Flickr / Creative Commons)


Written by Countable

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