WASHINGTON — Republicans have tucked an anti-net neutrality rider into a government spending bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing its open Internet rules.
The provision is just one of many riders in the financial services appropriations bill currently being hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. But as dozens of these unrelated policy measures are dropped, this one is sticking around — a fact that is especially troubling to net neutrality advocates, who worry it may make its way into a final must-pass spending bill, known as an omnibus.
The federal government is currently running on a stopgap funding measure, which will run out on Dec. 11. If Congress doesn’t reach a new agreement, the government will shut down.
The anti-net neutrality language reads:
Keep an eye on this, be prepared to call your reps:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to regulate, directly or indirectly, the prices, other fees, or data caps and allowances (as such terms are described in paragraph 164 of the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order in the matter of protecting and promoting the open Internet, adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on February 26, 2015.
On Feb. 26, the FCC approved strong net neutrality rules that reclassify consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. In other words, it bans “paid prioritization,” a practice allowing Internet service providers to charge content producers a premium for giving users more reliable access to that content.
Advocacy groups are already gearing up for a fight, urging net neutrality supporters to reach out to congressional negotiators.
“Congressional leaders are negotiating behind closed doors — and some are trying to work in language that would reverse the FCC’s historic Net Neutrality ruling,” wrote Sandra Fulton, government relations manager for Free Press, in a recent blog post. “We worked too hard for that win to let anyone undo it — let alone in secret. Real leaders don’t resort to these kinds of dirty tricks.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement to The Huffington Post that Republicans are “trying to use a procedural backdoor to supersede the FCC and ignore the nearly four million Americans that submitted public comments concerning the FCC’s Net Neutrality rulemaking.”
This is traditionally a low-turnout election in Philly, which is why it’s so easy for conservatives to win. Get out and vote for David Wecht, Christine Donohue, and Kevin Dougherty for state Supreme Court!
There are important races all over the country today. Do your part — get out and vote.
U.S. corporations have $2.1 TRILLION in profits stashed offshore – most of it in tax havens. As long as this money is offshore corporations avoid paying U.S. taxes on it. That means the rest of us have to make up the difference.
Congress should require these companies to pay the hundreds of billions of dollars that they owe on these offshore profits in tax havens. This is money desperately needed to make classrooms less crowded, rebuild roads and bridges, find new medical cures, and make America energy independent.
If we close tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs and hide profits offshore, we can raise hundreds of billions of dollars to reinvest in America.
Sign the petition. Thanks!
When even the New York Times editorial board says it’s time to shut down the Benghazi committee, it’s time. Their statement followed Rep. Kevin McCarthy boasting to Sean Hannity that the Benghazi select committee was part of a strategy to erode Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Sign the petition to Chairman Trey Gowdy: Wasting millions of dollars… Continue Reading →
But of course, the fight continues tomorrow. Stay tuned:
The way House Speaker John Boehner structured the process along with the Senate, all three bills had to pass or else the entire package would not advance. (If you’re a gambler, think of it like a three-item parlay bet.)
Progressive Democrats who oppose fast track feared it would pass with mainly Republican votes alongside a small number of Democrats, but they sensed an opportunity on the must-pass trade-assistance bill—since relatively few Republicans would back the legislation, it would be much easier to kill by withholding Democratic votes. And if trade assistance goes down, so too would fast track.
Continue Reading →
Alan Grayson says it’s very, very close in the House. Your calls make a difference. Please pick up the phone, call (202) 224-3121, ask for your Congressman, and register your disapproval. Say this: “Vote NO on Fast Track.”
A House Democrat on Wednesday accused President Obama of losing touch with the real world, as his administration pushes for fast-track authority to finish a sweeping trade pact.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who opposes the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership and legislation to help finalize it, said Obama lives “in a cloister” at the White House, while Sherman and his fellow lawmakers “are out seeing the real world.”
“We’re in our districts. We don’t live in a cloister where the only people who can get in are the captains of industry and the titans of Wall Street,” he said. “We’re the ones that are standing at the county fairs, talking to whoever wants to come up and talk to us.”
Sherman said living in the White House for the last six years had put Obama out of touch with the common American and that he should listen to the perspective of fellow Democrats who oppose him on trade.
“The president should trust us, his 200 most fervent supporters who, unlike him, have a chance to get out and see the real world,” he said. “We have the same values, but we don’t have the same lifestyle.”
Obama and congressional Democrats have clashed for months over the trade pact, with the fight coming to a head in the push to pass fast-track legislation that would allow Obama to finalize terms of the 12-nation agreement by limiting Congress to an up-or-down vote.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) said it was up to Democrats to defeat the bill and “save President Obama from his advisers.”
With a vote set for Friday that would send the fast-track legislation to the president, House Democrats in opposition are still trying to rally support to block it. Critics of the deal gathered outside the Capitol Wednesday to reiterate their opposition and urge Democrats to hold firm and block the bill.
"Call, email, tweet, Facebook your members of Congress right now. We want you to tell them to vote no on Fast Track." —@SenWarren
— MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) June 11, 2015
I was on a call with Sen. Bernie Sanders last night, and he said it was very important that you email or call your congressmembers and senators this week, no matter where you think they stand on TPP. He said if we can kill it this time, it will stay dead for a long time because no one wants it to be an issue in the presidential campaign.
So call or email your electeds TODAY:
This week, a bill to give the president Fast Track authority — designed to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership with little public debate — will be introduced in the Senate.The TPP is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.
Big corporations wrote the TPP behind closed doors.
Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.
All Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “Fast Track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.
Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street. Here are just a few of the ways the TPP is going to destroy the American economy. The TPP will:
- Outsource jobs
- Undercut workers’ rights
- Dismantle labor, environmental, health, food safety, and financial laws
- Allow corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system
If the TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.We can stop Fast Track authority for the TPP in the Senate. Opposition from both parties is growing and momentum is building. With your support we can show Senators that the American people do not want them to give up their power to fix a bad deal.
Will you stand with me and DFA to stop the TPP? Sign our petition today and tell the Senate: Say NO to Fast Track!
Thank you for standing up against the TPP.
Though it is not being reported much in the main stream news, a judge in Georgia on Monday said the court would not come to the aid of The New Georgia Project in reconciling the disappearance of over 40,000 (some even estimate 56,000) voter registrations from the Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. SOS Kemp has stated that these registration forms have been returned to the counties and all registrations have been processed. But, Kemp has also stated there is no deadline for the counties involved to process these registrations.
On September 9th Kemp had subpoenaed new voter registrations from the New Georgia Project to investigate what he believed was a conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams, the organizer of the drive, was surprised at Kemp’s actions…
Abrams told the Washington Post the group was surprised by the subpoena because they reached out to the secretary of state’s office proactively in June to ensure they complied with state law.
Only 25 out of 85,000 registrations, according to the Washington Post, did not pass scrutiny. That is less than one percent.
I can bet if a Right leaning group did that good of a job getting legitimate registrations Kemp would have called them out as “Patriots.”
Secretary Kemp has publicly stated the reason for the subpoena was that he received over one hundred complaints regarding the New Georgia Project and their efforts. Public records tell another story…
An October 9th Open Records Act request shows a total of seven voter registration complaints made in 2014 to the Secretary of State’s office. Only one of them, from Butts County, complains about “individuals canvassing voters.”
“There was only one complaint related to the New Georgia Project,” said Rep. Stacey Abrams, who leads the New Georgia Project. “The rest were related to people who had tried to vote.”
“I call into question why (Kemp) took such an aggressive action based on a single complaint that he was notified about in June,” Abrams said.
A spokesman for the Secretary of State says there are more records of complaints, but they are exempt from the Open Records Act because they are part of an ongoing investigation. He claims the investigation spans 14 counties — but can’t document them now.
Comparing the state voters’ database to the New Georgia Project’s records shows at least 50,000 new registrations missing. That equals about 50,000 people that could be eligible to vote that haven’t received their voting cards and might not know what precinct they are assigned. Nearly, all of these registrations are in Chatham, Fulton and Muscogee counties, strong Democrat leaning areas of the state.
So, what does a person in Georgia do if they have registered and have not received their voting card? Go to the polls and cast a provisional ballot. Georgia Advocacy Office says this about provisional ballots…
If you arrive to vote at your polling place and your name is not on the list of registered voters, you can request to cast a provisional ballot. The ballot is “provisional” until your registration can be verified. The Registrars have 48 hours after the closing of the polls to determine if you were eligible to vote. You must cast your provisional ballot in the precinct in which you are registered. If you cast your ballot outside your precinct, it will not be counted. At the time you cast a provisional ballot, the poll officer will give you written information telling you how to find out (a toll-free phone number or a website) if your ballot was counted and, if your ballot was not counted, the reason why your ballot was not counted. Access to information about an individual provisional ballot will be restricted to the elector who cast the ballot.
The tricky part is determining your precinct. Ask your neighbor where they vote. Make sure you have your (approved) ID and extra documentation that shows your home address like a utility bill, bank statement, or a government document.
Casting that provisional ballot will put real pressure on the counties whose election boards have not correctly completed the process of registration. People that haven’t received their voting information should not be discouraged from voting.
Go to the voting precinct. Show up. Don’t give up. Be counted.
Cast that provisional ballot.
WHAT: The People Vote: Stop the Comcast Mega-Merger
WHEN: Wed. May 21st, from 9.30 – 10.30 AM
WHERE: The Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street (southwest corner of Broad and Spruce)
RSVP: Click here to RSVP, and find us on Facebook and invite your friends!
WHO: You! Organizers include CAP Comcast, Common Cause, Consumers Union, Free Press, the Media Action Grassroots Network, and Media Mobilizing Project