On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to oppose the so-called “Net Neutrality CRA” in the House, including the discharge petition, H.Res. 873, filed by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). The discharge petition would force a vote on the disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to cancel the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
If passed, this petition would pave the way for the return of the Obama administration’s heavy-handed Internet regulations, which were overturned by the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. FreedomWorks will key the signers of this petition, treating signatures as an anti-freedom position for the purposes of our 2018 Congressional Scorecard.
The expansion of the Internet is perhaps the greatest victory for the free market in modern history. It vastly increased the accessibility of vital information, and has made life easier for millions of Americans. All of this was accomplished under a light-touch regulatory framework, that was passed after careful consideration, with bipartisan support, during the Clinton administration.
By passing the Open Internet Order, the Obama Federal Communications Commission, under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler, produced a solution in search of a problem. The framework that existed previously had a wide variety of mechanisms in place to police unfair behavior without interfering in the free market. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state Attorneys General, and the Department of Justice (DOJ), allowed for flexibility and innovation, but ensured a level playing field.
The FCC, under the leadership of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and the new Republican majority, repealed the Obama-era regulation in 2017. This will return the Internet to the proven framework that allowed for such rapid growth. It will also bring back investment. Since the Obama FCC first suggested their heavy-handed regulation, investment in the Internet sector is $200 billion behind schedule. In order to ensure our tech companies are competitive globally, this regulation must be allowed to be taken off the books as soon as possible.
Chairman Pai’s actions will also help vulnerable communities gain better access to the Internet. As access is becoming a most vital commodity, many still lack the connectivity that provides the most essential services. We need an Internet free of the meddling hand of government, so Internet service providers can innovate and expand their service to as many consumers as possible.
FreedomWorks will consider signatures on the discharge petition for H.Res. 873 as an anti-freedom vote for the purposes of our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks