No, net neutrality is not dead. Here’s where we’re at and what comes next.
December 14th was the one year anniversary of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. But the fight is far from over. And we just gained a little more time to get more members of Congress on the record in support of net neutrality before the end of this year.
December 10th was the technical deadline for House lawmakers to file a discharge petition and force a vote on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. But now that the Congressional session has officially been extended, members of Congress could be in town as late as December 21st. This means we have until the end of the year to get as many lawmakers as possible signed on to restore net neutrality.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. After our last day of action, we’re finally starting to see some movement in the House with two more members of Congress–Rep. Wilson (FL-24) and Rep. Morelle (NY-25)–signing on to the resolution to restore net neutrality. And now we have nearly two more weeks to get others to follow suit.
With Rep. Wilson and Rep. Morelle’s support for the discharge petition, it seems very likely that we can pick up additional members of Congress before the end of the year — especially Democrats. Despite the fact that nearly every Democrat in Congress has signed on to the CRA discharge petition, there are still 17 House Democrats who haven’t. And, big surprise: the 17 hold-outs have all taken fistfuls of money from big telecom companies.
There’s a good chance we won’t make it to 218 signatures on the CRA discharge petition in time — but every extra vote we pick up between now and the end of the year will help put us in the best possible position. No matter what happens with the CRA, we will continue to fight for a free and open Internet in the courts, state legislatures, and the incoming Congress in 2019.
Over the coming months, the legal battle over the FCC’s net neutrality repeal will play out in the DC Circuit Court. Thanks to Ajit Pai’s shoddy proceeding, we have a decent shot at winning. As the lawyers scrap it out, we have to stay on the offensive for a free and open Internet. Dozens of states have introduced their own net neutrality legislation. We cannot let up in the fight for a single second or companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will find ways to corrupt state legislators, water down these bills, or kill them all together. They know that since the FCC’s repeal the entire Internet has been watching their every move — and we need to keep it that way. As for the 116th Congress, our greatest threat continues to be weak, ISP-approved legislation pushed forward by corrupt lawmakers. We must fight to stop it the second it shows up.
We’re going to have our work cut out for us in 2019. But right now momentum is on our side, and we’ve just gained a crucial additional two weeks to convince Congress to vote to overrule the FCC. With your help, we can rally the entire Internet on Friday December 14, the one-year anniversary of Ajit Pai’s disastrous repeal. And, with any luck, we can pressure a handful of remaining Democrats who haven’t signed on to the CRA to add their names before the end of the year.