Washington, D.C. – Democratic leaders of the House and Senate today unveiled the Save the Internet Act, legislation that will keep the internet open and free. The legislation will reverse the disastrous repeal by President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late 2017 of critical net neutrality protections. The legislation is co-sponsored by 46 Senate Democrats.
The Save the Internet Act enacts the three legacy net neutrality principles – no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization – and empowers the FCC to prohibit unjust, unreasonable and discriminatory practices. The legislation also ensures consumers can make informed decisions when shopping for internet plans and restores the FCC’s authority to fund broadband access and deployment, particularly for rural communities and struggling Americans. The Save the Internet Act codifies the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order in a similar manner to last year’s Congressional Review Act that passed the Senate and had bipartisan support in the House.
The legislation, introduced and lead-sponsored by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) in the House, was unveiled at a press conference today by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).
“When the Republican-led FCC repealed net neutrality rules, they handed the big internet service providers the car keys and left American families and small businesses standing on the sidewalk,” said Leader Schumer. “Special interests and the biggest corporations shouldn’t get to decide how consumers access the internet. Democrats are fighting for everyone who relies on the free and open internet. We call on Republicans to join the vast majority of Americans who oppose the FCC’s horribly misguided decision and support this legislation to restore net neutrality.”
“When we talk about a free and open internet, we mean an internet that is free from corporate control and open to anyone to communicate, innovate and connect,” said Senator Markey. “Net neutrality ensures that when you pay your monthly bill to your internet service provider, you can able to access all content on the web at the same speed as your neighbor or big corporations. The Save the Internet Act is clear and simple: overturn the Trump FCC’s wrongheaded decision and restore strong net neutrality protections. Whether in the halls of Congress or the halls of the courts, we will not stop fighting until net neutrality is fully restored. I thank my colleagues in the Senate and House for their partnership in this fight.”
“Consumers deserve protection from price-gouging cable companies,” said Senator Cantwell. “Regulators need to do their jobs and protect consumers.”
“People don’t want their internet service providers to have control over what they can see on the internet. That’s why we need this bill,” said Senator Schatz, the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “Consumers need all the help they can get when it comes to internet service, so I hope we see bipartisan support and quick action in passing this bill.”
“The free and open Internet is a pillar of our democracy,” said Speaker Pelosi. “It is an honor to join Democrats from both sides of the Capitol to introduce this strong legislation, which honors the will of the millions of Americans speaking out to demand an end to the Trump assault on net neutrality. Democrats are proudly taking bold action to restore net neutrality protections: lowering costs and increasing choice for consumers, giving entrepreneurs a level playing field on which to compete, helping bring broadband to every corner of the country, and ensuring that American innovation and entrepreneurialism can continue to be the envy of the world.”
“The Save the Internet Act puts consumers first by once again putting a cop on the beat at the FCC and protecting them from abusive and discriminatory practices by internet service providers,” said Chairman Pallone. “This legislation protects a free and open internet, and I look forward to moving it through the Committee soon.”
“The bill we’re introducing today would provide essential protections against abusive Internet Service Provider practices like throttling, blocking, and paid prioritization to prevent or reduce competition,” said Rep. Doyle.
“The Save the Internet Act puts power back in the hands of the American people by restoring net neutrality,” said Rep. Clarke. “We have promised the American people to restore open, unrestricted access to the internet and build out high-speed internet to every, school, small business and community in America still waiting for it. Today we are keeping that promise.”
All Senators co-sponsoring the legislation include: Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Casey (D-Penn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), John Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).