Collins, King Announce Support for Bill to Protect Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today released a joint statement outlining their support for a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore net neutrality, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed in December:

 

“With the protections made possible under net neutrality, businesses in Maine and across our country are ensured equal access to the Internet so they can innovate, grow, and compete in the global economy. Repealing these protections would affect every sector of the U.S. economy, jeopardize the ability of Americans in rural areas to realize the Internet’s full potential, and impede the Internet’s ability to serve our democracy,” said Senators Collins and King. “For these reasons, we will support legislation that will overturn the repeal of net neutrality so that the Internet can remain a level playing field for every American. We believe that a more careful, deliberative process involving experts and the public is warranted to ensure that consumers have strong protections against discriminatory practices.”

 

In December, Senators Collins and King wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to cancel his plan to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules. In the letter, the Senators cited concerns that repealing the net neutrality rules could stifle innovation for small businesses and startups and that it could hinder the ability of rural Internet carriers to deploy broadband to underserved areas.

 

Last month, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld in 2016. The Open Internet Order prohibited Internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against content online. Repealing the net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower Internet traffic, and even blocked websites.

 

The Congressional Review Act, signed into law in 1996, gives Congress the power to review and overrule federal regulations by passage of a joint resolution of disapproval.