NH congressional delegation co-sponsors resolution to restore net neutrality

Only one more Republican Senator is needed to overturn the FCC’s decision
Office of Sen. Hassan
Senator Hassan speaks at a rally to protect net neutrality.

All four members of New Hampshires congressional delegation have co-sponsored a resolution to restore net neutrality protections.

The Congressional Review Act was introduced on Feb. 28 by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14), with the support of 50 Senators. Only one more Republican Senator is needed to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s December decision to repeal net neutrality protections. 

The FCC’s Open Internet Order prohibited internet service providers from blocking, slowing down or discriminating against content online. Repealing these net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower internet traffic and even blocked websites, said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)’s office. 

Senators Shaheen and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) also participated in a press conference on Wednesday with fellow members of the Senate and House as well as a variety of advocacy groups to highlight the importance of net neutrality to consumers, entrepreneurs and the economy in New Hampshire. The resolutions in the Senate and House would fully restore the 2015 Open Internet Order. The Senate CRA resolution of disapproval stands at 50 supporters, including Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). Rep. Doyle’s resolution in the House of Representatives currently has 150 co-sponsors.

“Net neutrality is fundamental to a free and open internet,” said Senator Shaheen in a press release following the conference. “By ending net neutrality, the Trump administration is rigging the internet against rural communities and small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country, where most people don’t have the luxury of picking a different broadband provider. We need a level playing field for all small businesses – and this means preserving the protections of net neutrality.”

“Consumers, entrepreneurs, and innovative small businesses rely on the principle that all content on the internet will be treated equally, and net neutrality helps ensure that even the smallest voices and businesses can be heard and thrive,” said Senator Hassan in a press release. “As part of today’s Net Neutrality National Day of Action, we are making clear that we will not stop fighting for net neutrality and that we will keep working to secure the one last vote we need in the Senate to pass our bipartisan effort to overturn the FCC’s dangerous decision so that our people, businesses, and economy can continue to thrive.”

In the Senate, Congressional Review Act resolutions with at least 30 cosponsors can be called up for a vote at any time.

“The message I’ve heard from thousands of Granite Staters has been abundantly clear, Congress should overturn the FCC’s misguided proposal to repeal net neutrality protections,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH). “It is imperative that New Hampshire consumers and small businesses are able to maintain the freedom to access internet services without obstruction from internet service providers. To compete in a 21st Century economy, we must ensure that the internet allows for a free exchange of ideas, and this common sense legislation would pave the way for a simple up or down vote in Congress to restore net neutrality protections for all Americans.”

In December, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) sent a letter with the New Hampshire congressional delegation to New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald and Governor Chris Sununu, urging them to take action to protect Granite State consumers and small businesses from the negative impacts of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality protections. Shea-Porter and 118 colleagues also sent a letter asking FCC Chairman Pai to delay the scheduled net neutrality vote due to public comment irregularities.

“I have co-introduced a resolution that, with a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate, would reverse the FCC’s shameful and misguided repeal of net neutrality protections,” said Shea-Porter. “Additionally, I have sent letters asking FCC Chairman Pai, Governor Sununu, and New Hampshire Attorney General MacDonald to help protect net neutrality, but they have all refused. Thankfully, people all across the country are speaking up. Because of their voices, this resolution has the support of 50 senators, just one vote shy of what is needed to pass the Senate.” 

Categories: Government