Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to re-instate Net Neutrality on Wednesday, in an attempt to overturn a 2017 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that shelved the Obama administration initiative.
The “Save The Internet Act of 2019” was formally introduced at a press conference on Capitol Hill, in which both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were present. (RELATED: States Are Pushing Their Own Versions Of Net Neutrality Rules While Congress Stalls On Ending Bureaucratic Back-And-Forth)
Last Congress, we voted to restore #NetNeutrality in the Senate.
Now, House and Senate Democrats are introducing a bill to #SaveTheInternet.
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) March 6, 2019
“Democrats are honoring the will of the people and restoring the protections that do this: Stop unjust discriminatory practices by [internet service providers] ISPs that try to throttle the public browsing speed, block your internet access and increase your costs,” Pelosi said.
“Last spring, our colleagues in the United States Senate were given that choice to side with the average person, rather than the big special interests, to side with protecting consumers and entrepreneurs,” Schumer said. “Unfortunately, all but three Senate Republicans voted on behalf of special interests. It passed the Senate, but unfortunately a Republican House of Representatives shelved it. Now we have a Democratic House, and Republicans have a second chance to right the Trump administration’s wrong.” (RELATED: The FCC Repeals Internet Regulations After Months Of Wild Protests)
The bill would permanently reinstate the 2015 regulations enacted by the Obama administration, which prohibited ISPs from slowing down or throttling certain content, as well as charging for services. FCC chairman Ajit Pai cast the deciding vote to repeal the regulations in Dec. 2017.
Opponents of Net Neutrality believe that the regulations are overbearing and unnecessary, while proponents claim that the regulations are important to protecting an internet that is open and accessible for everybody. Since the 2017 decision, internet speed in the U.S. has not slowed down, but in fact has continued to increase.
A bill to reinstate Net Neutrality passed the Senate 52-47 in May, but the Republican-controlled House refused to move on the bill. Since then, Democrats have gained control of the House, while Republicans have increased their majority in the Senate, but the legislation is still unlikely to be able to achieve veto-proof majorities even if it passes both houses.