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United States Government The Internet

Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Decision Be Overturned in Congress? (newsweek.com) 186

"Cancel the funeral and get ready to fight: Net neutrality is far from dead," argues Evan Greer, the campaign director for the pro-net neutrality group Fight for the Future in Newsweek: Our elected officials in Congress have the power to reverse what is swiftly becoming one of the U.S. government's most unpopular decisions ever. And if they don't, they'll pay for it come election season... 26 senators have already signed on to a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a vehicle to overturn the FCC's net neutrality repeal with a simple majority vote in both the Senate and House. [UPDATE: 28 Senators have now co-sponsored the resolution]. It's not going to be easy, but it's increasingly within reach with Democrats in lock step against the FCC rollback and half a dozen Republicans already publicly criticizing the move.

Outside of Washington, DC, net neutrality is not a partisan issue. Voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that they don't want their cable companies controlling where they get news, how they stream music and videos, or which apps they use to pay for things, get directions, or communicate with friends and family. Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T poured money into misleading advertisements, ghost written op-eds, and astroturf campaigns, to fool customers into thinking that they would voluntarily abide by the principles of net neutrality... But after all of that, they've completely failed to build any real grassroots support for their attack on net neutrality, from the left or the right. And every member of Congress knows that. 75 percent of Republican voters support the net neutrality protections the FCC just slashed... No matter how hard they try, telecom lobbyists will just never convince a meaningful number of Republican voters that killing net neutrality, and ending the internet as a free market of ideas, is a good thing. And that's what gives us a unique chance to get our normally gridlocked Congress to take action and overrule the FCC's politically toxic order.

Lawmakers in every state have been getting hammered for months with millions of phone calls, emails, protests, constituent meetings, media requests, and pressure from small businesses at volumes that just never happen. Net neutrality is becoming one of the most talked about political issues in recent human history... The FCC did something that a supermajority of people in this country oppose. Our elected officials have to decide whether to rubber stamp that betrayal or overturn it. The internet makes the impossible possible. If we harness our anger and direct it strategically, we can get the votes we need to restore the net neutrality protections that should never have been taken away in the first place. Any lawmaker who refuses to listen to their constituents will have to go on the record right before an election as having voted against the free and open web. They would be wise not to underestimate the internet's power to hold them accountable.

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Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Decision Be Overturned in Congress?

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  • But they can disband the FCC.

    Tax cuts and gut regulatory agencies!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Iâ(TM)m as Pro net-Neutrality as anyone however Title II was the wrong solution. Pass a real bill in Congress that focuses on filtering and throttling without Title II garbage.

  • Dumb question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djinn6 ( 1868030 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @11:43AM (#55795909)

    Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Decision Be Overturned in Congress?

    Of course it can. Congress created the FCC, so it can make whatever law it wants to override FCC's decision. Will it is a better question.

    • Re:Dumb question (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @11:56AM (#55795959) Journal

      Of course it can

      Indeed. For one, Betteridge's Law of Headlines fails us. The FCC might have been over-reaching their congress-assigned power when the attempted net neutrality, and it was certainly in their power to stop doing that. But that was without any law to back them up. In fact, that was one reason libertarian opponents were worried about the whole thing - it seemed like such an extra-legal extension of their charter.

      Pass an actual law, though? Totally different situation. Then the FCC would be unquestionably justified in enforcing that law, without the specter of unelected bureaucrats deciding how ISPs work.

      Of course - the same is true about abortion. There's still nothing in the Constitution that remotely protects that right, total fabrication by the court to reflect the changing views of Americans. But not that long ago we had a pro-choice President, Senate, and House - where was the law protecting "a woman's right to choose"? Total lack of courage for a law that was certain to pass, and would end the worry about Justices that love the constitution overturning Roe v Wade.

      tldr: do your damn job, Congress.

      • Re:Dumb question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @12:12PM (#55796043)

        But not that long ago we had a pro-choice President, Senate, and House - where was the law protecting "a woman's right to choose"?

        Both parties prefer to keep abortion as a wedge issue.

        The wedge helps Republicans to get poor social conservatives to vote for tax cuts for the rich.

        It helps Democrats to win over suburban soccer moms who may agree with the Republicans on economic issues.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Both parties prefer to keep abortion as a wedge issue.

          While I agree with your cynicism, you'd think an actual bill would be more high-profile. I think the truth is: the Republican politicians don't actually want to vote pro-life in such an explicit way, as they don't actually care about the issue but they do care about the DC social scene.

          Still pisses me off though, as I think a set of very pro-Constitution Justices is the only long-term hope for the US. Of course, then the right would have to confront the fact that the Constitution doesn't give the federal

          • I think a set of very pro-Constitution Justices is the only long-term hope for the US.

            So what you're saying is... there's no hope at all. I agree, at least for the next 50 years or so.

            There isn't a single one of those justices that wouldn't tie themselves and their clerks into a sophist knot getting 'round what the actual, obvious intent of the constitution is, much less require an actual amendment to implement legitimate change.

      • Well, because it's settled Supreme Court precedence, you would probably need a constitutional amendment, and that takes a 2/3 majority in both chambers of Congress, plus ratification by 2/3 of the states. That won't happen.

        Any simple law passed would become a football being punted between passing and repeal as the results of each election becomes known, making the availability of abortion a year-by-year ridiculous situation through attaching riders and amendments to muss-pass legislation as the dinosaurs t

        • Well, because it's settled Supreme Court precedence, you would probably need a constitutional amendment, and that takes a 2/3 majority in both chambers of Congress, plus ratification by 2/3 of the states. That won't happen.

          It needs no such thing. All that is needed is 5 justices agreeing with a state law that life begins at conception, or some point very soon thereafter.

          • All that is needed is 5 justices agreeing with a state law that life begins at conception, or some point very soon thereafter.

            Life, yes. But that's not the same as humanity. The grass you walk on is alive. Still, you mow it, crush it, kill it, doesn't rise to the level of any particular level of notice.

            The reason that pre-birth humans matter is because - when - they're human... not because they're alive.

            And humanity cannot be present prior to the development of a nervous system.

            Somewhere during pregnancy th

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )

              Actually, life does not begin at conception, not even human life. Life began roughly 2 billion years ago, human life maybe 200,000, and has existed as a continuum ever since. The cell that leads to a new individual is formed at conception, and a new individual comes into existence at birth.

              Whether it is right to impose legal restrictions on terminating a pregnancy is a valid question, but the discussion is not helped by defective definitions.

      • Re:Dumb question (Score:5, Informative)

        by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @01:25PM (#55796369)

        There's still nothing in the Constitution that remotely protects that right, total fabrication by the court to reflect the changing views of Americans.

        The Constitution explicitly says enumerated rights are not meant to interfere with other rights retained by the people. Think about all our other non-enumerated rights; the right to vote, the right to privacy in the bedroom, the right to travel, and the right to certain medical decisions over our own body... are you really suggesting that the government has the authority to ban all of those outright, because we only have the rights explicitly mentioned? Ultra-authoritarianism is all the rage these days huh?

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          There is no right to privacy in the Constitution. But there really needs to be, and not just in the bedroom. Good thing there is a means to amend the Constitution. I remember when we used to use that.

          • This is exactly the kind of thing the amendment process should be used for, when advances in technology start taking away rights that were previously not threatened to the same extent (and thus didn't need to be enumerated.) But in the past hundred years, the process has mostly been used or proposed for irrelevant BS (Prohibition, banning gay marriage) that, even if they were good ideas, belong in the US Code and not the Constitution.
          • There is no right to privacy in the Constitution. But there really needs to be, and not just in the bedroom. Good thing there is a means to amend the Constitution. I remember when we used to use that.

            Yeah, you guys totally need another 18th amendment, am I right?

      • ...abortion. There's still nothing in the Constitution that remotely protects that right...

        It's right there in the PREAMBLE.

        secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

        Specifically, the liberty not to be forced to bear a child.
        Whether the mechanisms properly exist for the federal government to side one way or the other other on abortion is a different issue, and I have my doubts.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Yes, this is exactly the kind of mental contortionism we need less of. You can justify anything as Constitutional if you're willing to twist that far, and thus the Constitution would offer the citizens no protection at all against the government.

          Of course, there's a growing group of people in the US who are OK with that.

          • by Boronx ( 228853 )

            It's not "anything", it's a right. It's the inability of Libertarians to recognize rights beyond those explicitly enumerated that will strip away protection from the government.

            The only conflict with abortion is the question of whether the fetus also has rights. It's indisputable that a woman has a right to privacy and a right to make her own medical decisions.

    • Congres does what people will pay it to do. On an issue that the public won't care one way or the other enough to turn an election this is strictly a quid pro quo issue for congressmen. Perhaps a few, like Rush Holt, will truly have some passion in these issues but to get enough to pass a bill without horse trading one other issues requires cash on the barrelhead. Netflix and google are not going to do that even if they offer sympathetic public faces because in the end they know they are now big enough

      • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Rush Holt retired from office in 2015. Last I heard he had taken a position as CEO of The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Congress ... can make whatever law it wants [regarding ISP content neutrality].

      Yeah, that was always the correct way to address the Net Neutrality question: have Congress pass a law. But that would require working out some sort of compromise between the interests of Google and Facebook and Netflix and the ISPs and everyone else. Do Net Neutrality advocates seem open to compromise?

      Should government work to find solutions that are acceptable to all sides? Or should they steamroll opposition and forcibly impose the will of one group on another?

      • Do Net Neutrality advocates seem open to compromise?

        There's simply no room for compromise on some things. Net neutrality is one of them, either you are allowed to communicate with the internet freely, or you allow your ISP to be your busy-body nanny who decides what you are allowed to do on the internet.

        Which do you want?

    • Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Decision Be Overturned in Congress?

      Of course it can. Congress created the FCC, so it can make whatever law it wants to override FCC's decision. Will it is a better question.

      The key is to build bipartisan support for the effort. either side wants an ISP to decide how good the connection is to their site; the specter of an ISP deciding to slow down sites with "wrong" POVs should motivate all to unite for net neutrality; as should the potential for a political opponent to buy preferred access. All this talk about "rights" and "how the net should operate" is mere noise compared to a threat to a politician's reelection.get them to see a threat to their existence and to start counti

      • Well, /. finally is reduced to quoting paragraphs of an editorial instead of trying to influence people with something pretending to be an actual news story.

        Ignoring the people and arguments on the other side of the issue to assume everyone thinks in lockstep about something isn't how proponents are going to accomplish convincing them and create the bipartisan support you need this to have.

        The two philosophical sides are in part:
        1. We trust the FCC to benignly regulate Internet access to benefit people inst

        • by Boronx ( 228853 )

          That's a nice false choice between a straw man and just giving in to corporate control.

          OTOH, opponents of Net Neutrality seem to think it means giving FCC control of internet access. It's a clue that they don't know what they are talking about.

          • If the FCC literally regulating Internet access under Title II is "Net Neutrality", then how is that not the FCC controlling Internet access? Do you not know what the meaning of the word regulate is?

            Here. let me help you with that Google search [google.com]:

            regulate
            reylt/
            verb
            verb: regulate; 3rd person present: regulates; past tense: regulated; past participle: regulated; gerund or present participle: regulating

            control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operate

        • The two philosophical sides are in part: 1. We trust the FCC to benignly regulate Internet access to benefit people instead of large companies. 2. We don't trust the FCC to regulate Internet access because they'll over time be captured by those they regulate, so leaving it to the market is a better idea.

          Sorry, that's just wrong. The two sides are this:
          1) The FCC should mandate that your ISP provide the service you pay them for and keep their god damned corporate fucking noses out your communications.
          or
          2) Comcast (et al) is such a swell company that it wouldn't ever abuse it's power to make more money for itself, so we should just trust them to the benevolent dictators over the internet access for millions of Americans.

          Your paranoid fantasies about government control over internet access would itself b

          • You don't understand that "The FCC should mandate that your ISP" is literally an example of the FCC controlling my ISP?

            Is English not your first language? You seem to fail at reading comprehension, here. I never even mentioned censorship in my comment.

            Also, Comcast has no impact on my Internet access, so why would they be a benevolent dictator for it or not? They can't force me to use their service.

            Anyway, you're obviously just flamebait, so I suppose I should just ignore you.

            • You don't understand that "The FCC should mandate that your ISP" is literally an example of the FCC controlling my ISP?

              I understand it, but some laws are good like "Don't murder people", I presume you can agree that that is a good law, right? "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access" is another good rule. What part of that don't you understand?

              Also, Comcast has no impact on my Internet access, so why would they be a benevolent dictator for it or not? They can't force me to use their service.

              You're lucky then. There are literally millions of Americans who aren't so lucky, so why are you trying to ensure they can be fucked over? Also, whoever your ISP is, if you're American and Comcast and Verizon start fucking their customers over this way, then you are going

              • Saying "Some laws are good" doesn't make all laws and regulations good.

                I can just as easily say "Some regulations are bad" and give you example after example [google.com]. Does that mean all regulations are bad? Try using some logic next time.

                For example, "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access" may or may not be a good rule, but it's also not anywhere in the regulations the FCC enacted under Title II, so that makes it pretty irrelevant to what the FCC actually would do or not.

                • For example, "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access" may or may not be a good rule, but it's also not anywhere in the regulations the FCC enacted under Title II, so that makes it pretty irrelevant to what the FCC actually would do or not.

                  Really? Do you even understand what common carrier (title 2) regulations are? Because that's exactly what it means.

                  It's pretty clear you don't know as much as you think you know and you're perfectly willing to ignore the people who know a hell of a lot more than you.

                  • Here's the full 400 pages of the rules [npr.org]. Feel free to point out the page which contains "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access" as part of the rules.

                    If it's not in there, then it's a phrase which as I said before is irrelevant to what the FCC would actually do or not.

                    You seem to think FCC rules mean whatever you've heard or read somewhere or wish was in there. However, they actually write these things down and at best only follow what's actually written, not what you want to read into them. The act

                    • Here's the full 400 pages of the rules [npr.org]. Feel free to point out the page which contains "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access" as part of the rules.

                      Ha. I thought you knew nothing and understood less. I guess I overestimated your intelligence.

                      Title II is a reference to the Communications Act of 1934. It's the section specifically designed to relate to common carriers. I've actually read the section, have you?

                      If you read it, which I strongly doubt. You haven't understood it.

                      For heaven's sake you haven't even understood the summary:

                      Ban Paid Prioritization: "Fast lanes" will not divide the Internet into "haves" and "have nots."

                      Ban Blocking: Consumers must get what they pay for — unfettered access to any lawful content on the Internet.

                      Ban Throttling: Degrading access to legal content and services can have the same

                    • Now tell me again, why do you want your internet access and the internet access of millions of other people to be subject to paid prioritization, blocking and throttling?

                      I want to be legally able to contract with whoever I want for whatever Internet services I want instead of having the FCC cost me money and features by subjecting my ISP to a bunch of bureaucratic rules and paperwork to "prove" they're complying with whatever restrictions the FCC has decided to set around Internet service based on their non

                    • I want to be legally able to contract with whoever I want for whatever Internet services I want instead of having the FCC cost me money and features by subjecting my ISP to a bunch of bureaucratic rules and paperwork to "prove" they're complying with whatever restrictions the FCC has decided to set around Internet service based on their non-technical outdated understanding of how some committee member thinks the Internet "should work" informed by the large incumbents in the Industry who most recently or best lobbied them.

                      Ok, I get it. You're just really, really stupid. You don't want real internet access, you want what your ISP is willing to give you at the lowest possible price.

                      not only couldn't you list where your meaning was in the FCC rules, you couldn't get past the non-binding summary of the rules, let alone the actual law in Title II

                      I literally didn't have to go beyond the summary to prove that you were wrong. However, re-read page 7 of the PDF of the rules if you think the summary is incorrect.

                    • Good thing your comment doesn't just consist of flamebait because you're frustrated by losing the debate.

                      "what your ISP is willing to give you" See, I don't rely on what someone is willing to "give" me, I contract for what I want and pay for it and not for what I don't want. It's called being a responsible adult instead of a whiny ward of the State.

                      Also, page 7 doesn't contain "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access". In fact, your contention is nowhere to be found in the entire document. I guess y

                    • Also, page 7 doesn't contain "Don't fuck with your customers' internet access". In fact, your contention is nowhere to be found in the entire document. I guess you also fail basic reading comprehension.

                      Pedantic fucking moron [wikipedia.org].

    • Re:Dumb question (Score:4, Interesting)

      by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @12:35PM (#55796147)

      Of course it can. Congress created the FCC, so it can make whatever law it wants to override FCC's decision

      Couldn't Comcast then sue the government claiming it violates the rule of JOBSJOBSJOBS and then see the ruling get overturned by the conservative judges the GOP is filling the judiciary up with?

      The GOP and corporations have been playing a long game to weaken the government, and they're aware they might not hold onto power forever, they're not stupid.

    • Of course it can. Congress created the FCC, so it can make whatever law it wants to override FCC's decision. Will it is a better question.

      Absolutely this. Congress can disband the FCC entirely if they decide they want to, and never forget: even if Trump (or any POTUS, for that matter!) vetoes it, congress has the ability to override a Presidential veto. I know many (most?) of us are in doom-and-gloom mode over the general state of affairs in our country (world?) right now, but don't forget this fact: our Constitution is still in place, still 100% relevant, and the checks-and-balances of our system of government are still in place, preventing

    • by mea2214 ( 935585 )

      Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Decision Be Overturned in Congress?

      Of course it can. Congress created the FCC, so it can make whatever law it wants to override FCC's decision. Will it is a better question.

      Congress definitely will pass a law that overrides the FCC decision. Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are writing one now as we speak.

  • by mystik ( 38627 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @11:46AM (#55795919) Homepage Journal

    Isn't this a basic US Government question?

    The FCC's operates under the Administrative branch, and it's charter was created by an act of congress in 1934. The net neutrality repeal is just a application of it's authority to make rules, not laws.

    Congress can enact laws to direct it's behavior, so long as those laws are constitutional. Which, I imagine would be a pretty straightforward application of the interstate commerce clause?

    • Yes.

      The administrative branch (usually) executes the laws Congress passes, as long as they are constitutional. The FCC, like all other pieces of the administration, derive their authority from duly passed legislation. Should the congress pass new laws (signed by the President, or with a veto override), the FCC must comply absent a court order from a Federal judge saying otherwise.

    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @01:10PM (#55796293)

      It doesn't need a law - actually a function of the Congressional Review Act. Basically, the Congress can pass a joint resolution that the regulation isn't the correct interpretation on the law and it's legally overturned.

    • Congress could pass a law saying your local supermarket can't sell a bag of apples without including one orange inside as well. It's a "pretty straightforward application of the interstate commerce clause".

      • by mystik ( 38627 )

        If that supermarket operates across state lines, then, yea, annoyingly, that probably could pass. That clause can be used for evil or good :(

        • No, they could do it for any company in the country. After all, the store buys electricity, phone service, or cleaning supplies from national companies.

          So their internal policies, including selling apples with oranges, are subject to the interstate commerce clause.

    • WTFis the "Administrative Branch" - all there is are the Legislative (Congress, both House & Senate), Judicial (Court - SCOTUS & other courts), and Executive (President)... The FCC is part of the EXECUTIVE Branch.

  • Overturn? No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @11:48AM (#55795925) Homepage Journal

    Congress can certainly pass law that makes the net neutrality decision illegal going forward, and thus FCC must replace it. That's not overturning it, though.

    The problem is that congress has turned into a binary partisan farce where votes are cast not based on what the congressman thinks, but whether it opposes the adversary. So it won't happen. There's really no way out of this quagmire either, from within the system itself.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      The problem is that congress has turned into a binary partisan farce where votes are cast not based on what the congressman thinks, but whether it opposes the adversary. So it won't happen. There's really no way out of this quagmire either, from within the system itself.

      And how is that different from US elections themselves?

    • They are in the business of campaign contributions. And as you point out those contributions tend to come from the hard right or left.

    • Congress can certainly pass law that makes the net neutrality decision illegal going forward, and thus FCC must replace it. That's not overturning it, though.

      The problem is that congress has turned into a binary partisan farce where votes are cast not based on what the congressman thinks, but whether it opposes the adversary. So it won't happen. There's really no way out of this quagmire either, from within the system itself.

      It's pretty much overturning it though.

      You're spot on about the Congress. Until voters realize that gaming the system into a two-sided duopoly that constantly gridlocks the people's business ("because of the other side").

      A similar sentiment in 2015 when Obama's team instituted the net neutrality rule:

      Congressional committees have launched probes to determine whether the White House exerted “improper influence” on the development of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recently approved net neutrality rule. The FCC is an independent agency headed by five commissioners, one of whom is selected by the President to be the Chairman. Critics of the approved rule argue that it noticeably deviates from initial proposals put forth by the FCC and, instead, closely aligns with the approach the President publicly outlined in November 2014. Because of this shift, and reports that the White House was involved in “thwart[ing]” the FCC in its initial proposals, the committees question whether the President has overstepped his authority in a manner that threatens the independence of the FCC. It is generally thought that because the President cannot control independent agency action, such agencies are free from presidential influence; however, news of the events at the FCC has given rise to the age-old question—just how independent are independent agencies? This two-part post examines whether there are any legal limitations that prevent the President from influencing independent agencies.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      No, it's not a partisan fight. It's a fight to keep psycopaths in check.

      Let's take, for example, the Zadroga act. Out of all the legislation I can think of, this is about as no-brainer as you can get. It's not ideological. It's just basic human compassion and decency.

      Now in case you don't know what this act is, it's about providing for the first responders of 9/11, many who have become sick or died as a result to various toxic materials.The compassionate and dare I say patriotic thing to do is to pass the m

  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @12:06PM (#55796019)

    First, as several others have already pointed out, Congress can make any law it likes, subject to judicial review. So, they can make a law that requires the FCC to implement net neutrality, just like there are laws requiring all sorts of federal agencies to do specific things.

    Second, this line is a real gem:

    Our elected officials in Congress have the power to reverse what is swiftly becoming one of the U.S. government's most unpopular decisions ever. And if they don't, they'll pay for it come election season (emphasis added)

    This statement makes it clear that Evan Greer is unwilling to accept reality. Please name one elected official that "paid for" their action or inaction on any of the following issues:

    • Implementation of Obamacare
    • Attempted repeal of Obamacare
    • Failure to implement meaningful immigration reform
    • Supporting or not supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership
    • Support or opposition for Trump appointees
    • etc.

    The system in the US has become one that so long as a politician adheres to a particular ideology, the voters who adhere to the same ideology will support the politician and those who oppose the ideology will oppose the politician. This is largely the case even in the face if criminal or other behavior which should make someone unsuited for public office.

    Look at how many people still voted for Roy Moore in Alabama. Or how many people immediately called for the resignation or removal of a politician or high profile figure of an opposing political party while being silent or slow to speak out against those in their own party.

    It is all a complete a mess and believing that net neutrality will be the thing that gets people to put aside their political apathy and vote some bums out of office is beyond laughable.

    • This statement makes it clear that Evan Greer is unwilling to accept reality. Please name one elected official that "paid for" their action or inaction on any of the following issues:

      • Implementation of Obamacare

      Are you kidding? Senator Kennedy lost his life over that vote.

  • Internet freedom is one of those few issues that effects everyone and is bi-partisan. As long as an issue effects both the 1% and the 99%, you can almost guarantee that it will be bi-partisan. Some multi-billion dollar companies stand to take a hit from a lack of net neutrality so you can bet your ass this one will be the hot topic of next year's legislation efforts. And, of course, Donald Trump will tout it as some sort of victory - even though he appointed Ajit Pai to overturn net neutrality. Wow, America
    • You're right! Returning the situation to the way it was two years ago is a total disaster! I wonder, were you this upset when Obama dragged his feet for years before pushing a rule through? Were you furious about how "fucked" you were while he went years and years with the situation exactly as it now is? No? Gotcha.
  • You know, not Obama's version of monopoly carriers that bundle services or the post-Bell monopoly all-in-one carriers. We need to split up Spectrum, AT&T and cohorts, allow free access to any fiber/copper and poles that had government subsidies or land grabs involved (which is almost all of it) and split Internet from TV and phone carriers.

  • Government agencies can only operate in the bounds that Congress sets for them. Congress can bind them however they want.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      This.

      The FCC can only create regulations within the framework of the Constitution and federal Laws. If Congress mandates some sort of Net Neutrality, Tweedie Pai will have to comply.

      But beware of the special interests heaping cash onto legislators in this next election cycle. In fact, the threat of legislation might just be a way for candidates to put out their hands with the suggestion that, for enough money, NN can be made to go away.

  • by Tolvor ( 579446 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @01:16PM (#55796321)

    The Congressional Review Act (CRA) needs to be passed in both the House and Senate, which both have Republican majorities (or to put it differently, Democrats do not have a definitive majority in either House or Senate). To get a perspective on the chances of this passing look at the 28 cosponsors of the bill NONE of which are republican. Suppose that somehow there are a few republicans do end up voting for this, then it heads to President Trump who can veto it.

    Trump is the person that appointed Ajit Pai to head the FCC, and of course Trump knew that Pai would repeal net neutrality and undoubtedly they have discussed the issue in detail. Trump has praised Pai, so we know that Trump has no problems with net neutrality being repealed. It is virtually certain that if this reaches the Presidents desk, it will be vetoed.

    Of course Congress can overturn a veto, with a 2/3 supermajority. While there is a slight chance in a republican congress that a simple majority can be found to overturn the repeal of net neutrality, there is *NO* chance that the hard line far-right will vote to repeal. Recent elections have purged moderate or "soft" politicians of both political parties. There aren't enough moderates to overturn a veto.

    • I don't see why this is considered a problem. Pass the bill anyway, make him veto it, get Trump to put himself on the wrong side of yet another issue. You either force him to do something he'd rather not or he sits back and lets it pass. What's the harm in trying?
  • Either the people asking this question failed "basic civics 101" or the idea of overturning needs more "juice" so they're asking it kind of like a strawman: they know what the answer is, but need to gin more fear.

    Either way, *I* don't think I'd listen to them. They're either stupid or manipulating you.

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @04:59PM (#55797325) Homepage Journal

    A bill, passed by Congress and signed by the President is *exactly* how Net Neutrality should have been implemented. If you remember at the time, the FCC Chairman said at the time the FCC was acting because Congress hadn't/wouldn't.

  • Of course our elected officials can overturn net neutrality – unfortunately, it’s a majority GOP and they live in a world that believes every single thing touched by Obama is poison and must be killed. Secondly, ALL of our representatives have collectively taken $101M from the communications cabal. Some of the GOP have introduced bills that even block State/Locals from implementing their own version of NN.
    The sad fact is the only way to fix this is to get corporate money out of politics. Til
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Money, doesn't not, and never has, win an election. Votes win an election., money is an excuse to make people feel like they have no power, so the become apathetic and don't participate.

      If it was money, their would be no need for gerrymandering.

      • Elections require money to operate. The more money, the you can push a candidate and sway things in there favor. Money buys votes. The GOP hasn't won popular vote in a presidential election since 1988..(excluding W's 2nd term) .yet, here were are. Try and suggest again that money doesn't win elections.

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