Congress: Pass The CRA Or Face A Summer Of Internet Opposition
Above Photo: From Tumblr.fightforthefuture.org
Internet activist groups who have rallied millions to contact their lawmakers plan to kick off summer offensive with mass online actions the day FCC repeal goes into effect
Today, net neutrality supporters announced plans for mass online actions on June 11th, to coincide with the date that the FCC’s resoundingly unpopular repeal will go into effect. The groups behind BattleForTheNet.com, a site that millions have used to contact their lawmakers in support of an open Internet, issued a strong warning to lawmakers: sign the discharge petition and support the CRA resolution to block the repeal before its effective date, or become the target of a fierce summer activism campaign including ad buys, in-district protests, small business pressure, and a river of angry constituent phone calls.
Earlier this month, the Senate voted 52-47 in a historic upset to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the FCC’s gutting of open Internet protections. More than 170 representatives have already indicated their support for the same resolution in the House. 218 signatures are needed in order to force the CRA resolution to the floor, increasingly within reach following the bipartisan vote in the Senate.
Net Neutrality protections have broad bipartisan support among voters across the country. An April 2018 University of Maryland poll showed 82 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats oppose FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to repeal the Title II open-internet protections his predecessor put in place. Several other public polls show a consistent pattern of support among Republicans, Democrats and independents.
June 11th will serve as the kick-off for intense campaigning focused on House lawmakers, who will be under tremendous pressure to support the CRA ahead of the midterm elections, given that voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support restoring the rules.
“People are going to be pissed off. Really pissed off. And rightly so. It’s hard to imagine a more clear example of how our democracy is broken,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, “We’re going to harness the power of the Internet to ensure that people have a way to channel that anger productively. Any lawmaker, of any party, that fails to sign the discharge petition in support of the CRA will regret it come election time.”
“Few policies coming out of Washington in recent years have been as universally opposed as the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality,” said Demand Progress Communications Director Mark Stanley. “Poll after poll makes this clear, and grassroots energy in support of the CRA resolution to reverse the FCC remains at peak levels. An army of telecom lobbyists have worked overtime on Capitol Hill to turn net neutrality into a partisan issue. Despite these efforts, a bipartisan majority in the Senate voted to pass the CRA resolution. Now it’s up to Representatives to follow suit and overturn the FCC’s disastrous repeal of net neutrality, which will cut off small businesses’ ability to reach customers, harm rural communities that lack choice in internet providers, and negatively impact all who rely on an open internet for news, speech and entertainment.”
“This will be one of the biggest showdowns of the summer in the House,” said Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director Candace Clement. “For constituents everywhere Net Neutrality is non-negotiable. Our elected representatives can either side with the people and support the CRA or with the cable and phone lobby. Activists and advocates in every district are already turning up the heat on anyone who sells out their constituents to line the pockets of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Keeping *the* internet open is critical for us. It powers social movements, and provides a global platform for people of color, LGBTQ folks and the most marginalized communities to tell their own stories, run their own businesses and route around powerful gatekeepers.”