October 10, 2020 | News | No Comments
Less than a month after the Federal Communications Commission passed a set of groundbreaking net neutrality protections, both sides of the fight for the internet’s future have thrown down their gauntlets.
Republicans are reintroducing previously abandoned legislation that could kill net neutrality protections before they take effect, in a maneuver which is unlikely to be successful, but will serve as, according to Politico‘s Tony Romm, a “new springboard for sustained political attacks on the White House.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Politico on Friday that the team of GOP lawmakers who have banded together to oppose net neutrality rules is “simply trying to figure out the facts” of the FCC’s decision to approve landmark open internet protections. That group is currently suggesting that the commission bowed to political pressure from President Barack Obama—a narrative that allows them to transform the fight against net neutrality into “the same sort of drawn-out controversy as Benghazi and Obamacare,” Romm writes.
In that vein, the committee on Tuesday held the first of five hearings on the FCC’s rules, which heard theories that chairman Tom Wheeler capitulated to the Obama administration’s demands when he moved away from cable-friendly legislation and voted to protect consumer interests instead.
However, the anti-net neutrality lobby is up against several formidable opponents, spanning Democrats in Congress, government watchdogs, and civil rights activists, all of whom campaigned for more than a year for Wheeler to accept the most progressive proposals for internet regulations.
Matt Wood, policy director for media reform group Free Press, confirmed the organization’s staunch support of net neutrality and criticized Republicans for their tactics on Tuesday, stating in a press release, “The phone and cable lobby and their allies in Congress need to stop spreading lies about the net neutrality rules.”
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