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The Fate of Net Neutrality Hinges on the House

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WASHINGTON — On Monday, press accounts reported that Rep. Andy Biggs (R­–Arizona) plans to introduce a House companion to Sen. Mike Lee’s (R–Utah) Net Neutrality repeal bill, S. 993.

UPDATE: By Tuesday, Rep. Biggs had backed off his plans to introduce the bill in the House, telling reporters he merely planned to express support for the bill without attaching his name to it.

Lee’s bill, which has attracted just 10 co-sponsors in the Senate and sat dormant since its introduction on May 1, would strike down the FCC’s landmark Open Internet Order adopted in February 2015 and prevent the FCC from enacting any similar rules going forward.

Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

“Repeal without replacement hasn’t proven a very popular rallying cry during this Congress, at least for members listening to their constituents and facing their anger. While the debate about health care is a momentous one, tens of millions of people have mobilized to stop this administration’s assault on their communications rights too.

“It’s discouraging to see Rep. Andy Biggs charge into the fray and announce his intention to wipe away the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. He joins Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and a handful of hardliners likewise intent on destroying these freedoms and handing control of the internet to big cable and phone companies.

“This is yet another reason it’s hard to take seriously any talk of a Net Neutrality bill from the current congressional majority. They can’t decide if they want to toss the rules away or supposedly fix them. But the truth is there’s nothing to fix. The present legal framework is working for everyone in the internet economy.

“AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can’t help talking out of both sides of their mouths on this issue. They flip-flop between professing support for Net Neutrality one minute and efforts like these the next, all the while asking internet users to trust them. But they aren’t fooling anyone outside the Beltway with their promises, especially after Verizon got caught last week slowing down video speeds.”


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