For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Telecom-Friendly House Democrats Are Pushing a Letter to Undermine Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON - Fight for the Future has learned that ahandful of House Democrats are shopping around a letter that echoes ISP lobbyist talking points, incorrectly claiming that the Save the Internet Act to restore net neutrality is dead and calling for the creation of a disingenuous “bipartisan working group,” modeled after the one created in the Senate by Roger Wicker and Kyrsten Sinema, who are widely seen as enemies of the effort to restore net neutrality.

The group is rumored to be led by Rep Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep Scott Peters (D-CA) who together have takenhundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big telecom companies. Some of the reported signers include Democrats who have a track record of siding with big cable interests over their constituents, while others may have simply been misled into signing a letter they were told was in support of net neutrality. The fact remains that not a single House Democrat voted against the Save the Internet Act, and it continues to enjoy overwhelming public support.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Fight for the Future and is posted below, is unnecessary and misleading. The Save the Internet Act passed the House with massive support, and a similar measure passed the Senate with bipartisan support just last year. The bill reflects overwhelming bipartisan consensus from voters, who overwhelmingly support the restoration of real net neutrality protections, regardless of their political persuasion. The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality also faces a court challenge, the outcome of which will dramatically change the calculus for the Save the Internet Act.

Zero net neutrality advocacy groups support the creation of such a working group — the only purpose of this letter is to amplify the cable industry’s narrative and build support for their end goal, which is to pass weak, loophole-filled legislation that claims to save net neutrality while permanently undermining it.

The letter has not yet been released, and many of the signers may not be aware of its true intent. Below is the list of reported signers. Please contact them and tell them to take their names off this misleading, anti-net neutrality letter, and instead to continue fighting on behalf of their constituents’ internet freedom.

Below is a copy of the reported letter obtained by Fight for the Future:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn:
The Internet is one of the greatest engines of economic growth in our nation’s history. It has fundamentally changed virtually every aspect of our lives — how we connect with friends and family, as well as how we get our news, information, and entertainment. For that reason, we, like you, strongly support net neutrality and the preservation of an Open Internet. We commend you, Chairman Pallone, and Subcommittee Chairman Doyle for your leadership in championing this issue and for successfully advancing the “Save the Internet Act” through the House.
We, the undersigned, voted for this legislation because it represented an opportunity to resolve questions that courts have struggled with for decades. At the same time, we recognize that this legislation is unlikely to become law, or pass through the Senate, in its current form. If that proves true, consumers will be left without enforceable net neutrality protections while partisan conflict continues. We believe this result is unacceptable and unnecessary.
In the spirit of passing bipartisan, bicameral legislation that can be signed into law, we are calling for the establishment of a bipartisan working group, like the Wicker-Sinema effort in the Senate. As the Senate begins its bipartisan negotiations on net neutrality legislation, the House must also begin a process of forging bipartisan consensus. Various models for legislation could achieve our goals of providing strong, enforceable net neutrality protections for consumers.
We believe a bipartisan working group will allow us to work together to enact strong, enforceable protections that will ensure a truly free and open Internet for all. We hope that we can count on your support.
Sincerely,
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