WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed House Republicans for inaction on legislation to reverse a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that repealed net neutrality rules.
“By refusing to bring up the Senate-passed resolution to restore net neutrality, which passed the Senate by a powerful bipartisan vote, House Republican leaders gave a green light to the big ISPs to charge middle-class Americans, small business owners, schools, rural Americans, and communities of color more to use the internet,” Schumer said in a statement on Monday. “That’s exactly why the entire Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter last week urging [House] Speaker Ryan (R-Wis.) to schedule a vote immediately to save the internet.”
Schumer added: “It’s now as clear as day to every American that-with the exception of three Republicans in the Senate- their Republican representatives in the Congress chose to protect special interests and the biggest corporates over middle-class families, average consumers, entrepreneurs and anyone who relies on the free and open internet.”
In December, the FCC approved the Restoring Internet Freedom order. Chairman Ajit Pai and the other Republican appointees voted yes. The Democratic appointees voted no. The order goes into effect today.
Neutrality rules approved during the Obama administration prevented internet providers from granting paid preferences to certain platforms or blocking user content. The rules required equal access at the same price.
Republicans have said the old rules were harmful to business. They argue that the internet should not be regulated in the same manner as utility companies.
Democrats say net neutrality protected users who did not have access to capital.