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April 09, 2019

McConnell: Net Neutrality ‘Dead On Arrival’ Before House Votes

As the United States House of Representatives held a spirited floor debate on the Save the Internet Act, the new net neutrality bill, over in the Republican controlled Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went out of his way to crush the hopes not just of Democrats, but of open internet advocates of all stripes, announcing that the bill—which is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House—would be "dead on arrival in the Senate,” according to a Reuters report.  And if McConnell’s statement wasn’t dispiriting enough, the White House issued a statement promising that if the Save the Internet bill reaches his desk, Donald Trump would veto it, saying that bill would mark “return to the heavy-handed regulatory approach of the previous administration.”  In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission under the Barack Obama administration put in place a set of net neutrality rules, requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally. But last year, following up on a 2017 vote, the Trump-controlled current FCC board repealed those rules, as AVN.com has reported.  The Save the Internet Act simply reverses the FCC’s repeal of the rules, reinstating the Obama-era regulations as if they had never been repealed.  A House vote on the bill had been expected to happen today, but due to the prolonged debate and attempted introduction of new amendments to the bill, the vote was reportedly pushed to Wednesday. But even as net neutrality appears headed to a grinding halt in the face of Republican opposition, on the state level, another net neutrality bill moved forward on Monday—after several states including California, Vermont, and Washington have all passed or otherwise instituted their own net neutrality rules. On Tuesday, Colorado took a big step toward joining that club, according to The Denver Post, passing a bill that would ban ISPs from receiving state contracts or funds if they do not adhere to net neutrality standards. The bill passed both the Colorado House and Senate on strict party line votes, with all Republicans opposed, but Democrats supporting the bill. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons 

 
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