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'We Need to Push Lawmakers Extra Hard': Campaign Aims to Flood Congress With Calls to Support Net Neutrality Bill

"Call your lawmakers and demand they co-sponsor new legislation to restore net neutrality before Big Telecom's lobbyists swarm Capitol Hill."

Jake Johnson

Net neutrality supporters protest in Washington on Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP-Getty Images)

Members of Congress will soon have another opportunity to restore net neutrality, and advocates for the open internet are holding their feet to the fire.

With House Democrats expected to introduce the "Save the Internet Act" on Wednesday in an effort to restore net neutrality protections, a coalition of grassroots advocacy groups is urging Americans to flood their representatives with calls and emails in support of the legislation.

"This is huge," Josh Tabish of Fight for the Future, one of the organizations leading the pressure campaign, said in an email. "But with the news in the headlines, the telecom lobbyists are gearing up to swarm Capitol Hill. Now we need to push lawmakers extra hard to support the new legislation before the lobbyists get to them."

While the details of House bill are still unknown, net neutrality campaigners said they would not settle for anything less than the strong internet protections that were repealed by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is chaired by former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai.

According to Fight for the Future, the Save the Internet Act is "expected to 100 percent completely overturn Ajit Pai's disastrous repeal if passed"—unlike Republican bills introduced earlier this year that critics said would undermine attempts to reinstate net neutrality rules.

"With the bad bills in circulation, it's super important that we get ahead of the telecom lobbyists and build support for real net neutrality legislation before tomorrow's launch," Tabish said. "For weeks, corrupt members of Congress have been circulating bad net neutrality bills in hopes they can trick telecom-beholden members of Congress into adding their name to legislation that would permanently undermine the free and open internet."

The renewed congressional effort to restore net neutrality comes just months after the House failed to pass a resolution that would have overturned Pai's repeal. Last May, the Senate passed the resolution with the support of three Republicans.

According to polling data, large majorities of Republican and Democratic voters support net neutrality.

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday that Democrats would introduce legislation to bring back net neutrality protections, advocacy groups credited the public for keeping the issue near the top of the party's list of priorities.

With a new legislative fight ahead, net neutrality proponents urged Americans to keep the heat on Congress.

"Time to keep up the pressure!" the Center for Media Justice wrote to supporters on Twitter.

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