WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the House Energy & Commerce Committee passed the Save the Internet Act of 2019 (H.R. 1644) out of committee with a 30-22 vote. The legislation, which would restore the FCC’s strong Net Neutrality rules and Title II legal framework for broadband, is expected to move to the House floor, where it could receive a vote as early as next week.
Introduced in early March, the legislation had already drawn the support of 187 sponsors in the House by the time of today’s markup. It would reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order.
Free Press Action Government Relations Director Sandra Fulton made the following statement:
“The Energy and Commerce Committee has responded to the overwhelming public support for strong Net Neutrality protections. It’s now the full House’s turn to pass the Save the Internet Act and take the next step toward restoring the Net Neutrality protections the public demands.
“Support for the Save the Internet Act is growing every day, and it’s easy to see why. People need the open internet to connect with loved ones, search for jobs, learn, and fight for justice. Without Net Neutrality rules and FCC oversight grounded on the strong legal foundation of Title II, our ability to seek and share information is in jeopardy.
“People are calling on lawmakers in huge numbers to bring back effective open-internet rules to safeguard their online civil rights. Such protections are exactly what this bill delivers. It takes a light-touch approach to restoring the FCC’s Title II authority over broadband internet-access providers.
“When those rules were in place from 2015 to 2017, they did nothing to prevent such companies from investing in deployment and improving services and speeds while recording healthy profits. The actual numbers tell the story. Don’t believe anyone in the pocket of the phone and cable lobby who says otherwise.
“Companies like AT&T and Comcast, of course, don’t care about telling the truth or why Net Neutrality is so popular. Industry lobbyists are resorting to their usual tricks to torpedo this bill, hiring an army of lobbyists, lawyers and PR flacks to spread lies about Title II. Today’s vote demonstrates that people in and out of Congress aren’t buying it anymore.
“Efforts to paint this legislation as partisan ignore public polling, which shows that overwhelming majorities of Democratic and Republican voters oppose the Trump FCC’s repeal of Title II Net Neutrality safeguards, and support passing this bill to restore those good rules.
“We thank the committee majority for rejecting any industry-friendly amendments that might have truly undermined this legislation, and we call on lawmakers to keep listening to their constituents and take this bill to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.”