US House passes 'net neutrality' bill unlikely to become law

The U.S. Capitol where legislation on net neutrality was passed by the House

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to restore the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 Open Internet Order and the agency's net neutrality rules by passing the "Save the Internet Act" (H.R. 1644).

Siding with Pai was FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who said the United States had turned the page on the failed broadband policies of the Obama Administration. One Republican, Bill Posey of Florida, broke ranks with his party to support the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the bill is "dead on arrival" in this Senate because the chamber will not take it up.

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Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ahead of Thursday's expected FCC vote repealing so-called net neutrality rules in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017.

Republicans have said the bill would open the door to the FCC imposing rate regulations or adding taxes to internet service similar to levies on cable or phone bills.

With net neutrality, some Democrats sounded an optimistic note that the House's vote - coupled with sustained public pressure from net neutrality supporters - could shift their fortunes. Their legislative effort gets right what the FCC got so wrong.

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Conservative groups and Republican lawmakers pushed back against the attempt to undo the net neutrality repeal, arguing it would grant the government too much control over the internet. "The overwhelming show of support for the Save the Internet Act proves how important and popular Net Neutrality has become". 197 out of 235 Democrats co-sponsored the bill, which would reinstate the Obama administration's "net neutrality" laws. The other roadblock facing the bill is President Trump. "New Hampshire consumers and small businesses depend on a level playing field and today we moved a step closer to restoring net neutrality".

This legislation is a big-government solution in search of a problem. According to Mike Doyle (D-PA), the bill's main sponsor, it also reaffirms the FCC's power and authority. "I'm proud to stand with them in that fight". A federal court heard oral arguments in the case in February. Some agreed not to enforce the laws pending the outcome of the Mozilla case.

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