The Democrats leading the Save the Internet Act are pushing for a vote in April, with or without Republicans.
Rep. Mike Doyle, who’s shepherding the Democrats’ bill in the House of Representatives to restore the Obama-era net neutrality protections, says he’s not waiting for Republican support before bringing the proposed legislation to a vote.
In an interview with CNET, the Democrat from Pennsylvania, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on communications and technology, criticized his colleagues on the other side of the aisle for not making a good faith effort to work across party lines to put net neutrality protections in place. He said he’d like to get bipartisan support for the Save the Internet Act, but that even without it his bill, supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, will get a vote in April.
Last week Doyle’s subcommittee held a hearing on the bill, which reinstates Federal Communications Commission rules repealed in December 2017 by the Republican-led FCC. As part of this repeal, the FCC abdicated its authority to protect consumers online to the Federal Trade Commission.
“The problem with net neutrality is this is an issue that’s been bouncing around for 15 years in the courts, because there hasn’t been a legislative solution. Once we fix this in statute, that all ends.”
The bill introduced by Democrats is an attempt to end a nearly two decades old fight to codify rules that prevent broadband companies from abusing their power as gatekeepers to the internet. Specifically, it prevents broadband providers from blocking, slowing down or charging for faster access to the internet. But it also restores the FCC’s authority as the “cop on the beat” when it comes to policing potential broadband abuses.