Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
The Net Neutrality bill passed the Senate last Wednesday, 52-47. Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Kennedy (La.) — joined their Democratic colleagues in supporting the bill. By way of brief review, net neutrality is the right to go where you want and do what you want on the internet without your broadband provider getting in the way. It means your broadband provider can’t block websites, throttle services or charge you premiums if you want to reach certain online content. As I said last week, 85% of Americans support net neutrality. 18 million people wrote to the FCC last fall, but in December the FCC withdrew the net neutrality rules anyway. The Senate voted to force the FCC not to overturn the net neutrality rules imposed in the Obama era, so now it must go through the House and then get signed by the President in order to become law.
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) said Wednesday he intends to launch a discharge petition in an effort to force a House vote on reinstating the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules. So far, Paul Ryan is reluctant to bring it to the floor for a full House vote because only bills that a majority of Republicans would support get a full up and down vote.
But Doyle said, “It’s about protecting small businesses, students, innovators, entrepreneurs and competition. These are the policies that every American benefits from and it enables our modern economy.”
In other words, access to the internet has become a utility worthy of regulation. Congressional Review Act (CRA) bills like this one allow Congress to overturn agency decisions with majority votes in each chamber, and a signature from the president.
In addition to the CRA, Doyle said he intends to launch a discharge petition on Thursday morning. If 25 Republicans and all the Democrats in the House sign the petition, it would force a floor vote.
Doyle urged citizens to phone their lawmaker and encourage them to sign the petition. He said those who don’t support maintaining net neutrality will be held accountable at the polls in November. Most Republican lawmakers say there is no need for net neutrality rules, claiming it is a case of over-regulation.
The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines in December to repeal its Obama-era Open Internet Order. If you have concerns about net neutrality and have an opinion on whether Mike Doyle’s Congressional Review Act bill to preserve net neutrality should get a vote in the House, you can contact your congressperson as well as Paul Ryan about the discharge petition for a possible floor vote.