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First House Republican moves to restore net neutrality

Today, Representative Mike Coffman, R-Colo., took a big step to protect the open internet. In POLITICO this morning, he announced he would be signing on to a request for House leadership to hold a vote on the Congressional Review Act to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality rules.

Congressman Coffman is the first Republican in the House to sign on to the CRA, a benchmark awaited by sponsors and advocates alike. The CRA passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, and its passage in the House will also require the support of legislators from both parties.

With his move today, Coffman is showing real leadership in representing public opinion and the will of his constituents; outside Washington, D.C. net neutrality is not a partisan issue. In fact, recent polling finds Americans from red and blue states alike agree that equal access to the internet is a right, including 79 percent of Colorado residents.

Speaking at an event this morning at DC startup incubator 1776, Coffman spoke in strong terms about his thoughts on net neutrality. “It is really quite simple,” he said. “You pay your internet provider for access. You don’t pay them to make decisions about internet content. In exchange for your payment, you should get freedom of access without market-distorting arrangements.” ALA couldn’t agree more.

Coffman’s remarks touched on how much his constituents care about the issue, regardless of party affiliation. “Being connected means different things to different people,” he said, “But we all agree the internet is the best, most efficient way to connect.” Calling the internet “the new town square,” Coffman went on to describe the different ways in which a free and open internet is important to Americans, including small business owners, veterans and military families.

What’s next? A simple majority of House members signed on to a discharge petition to force a floor vote on the CRA before August recess begins on July 30. We currently have 177 out of 218 needed supporters. At the same time, the court case against the FCC’s 2017 action will be ramping up towards the end of the summer.

What can you do? Please consider tweeting to thank Rep. Coffman for his support of a free and open internet:

Thanks @RepMikeCoffman for signing the #CRA discharge petition; standing up for #netneutrality and the open internet our communities & libraries need to succeed!

Contact your member of the House to encourage them to follow Rep. Coffman’s lead using our action alert.

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Ellen Satterwhite

Ellen Satterwhite a Washington Office Policy Fellow and Vice President of the Glen Echo Group. She has years of experience at the intersection of technology and policy, including as a co-author of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and as Consumer Policy Advisor to the Commission. Satterwhite earned a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

6 Comments

  1. […] there is progress to report on net neutrality. The ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch weighs in on the news that the first House Republican, Mike Coffman of Colorado, has signed on to th… the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules. Coffman has also introduced a net neutrality bill […]

  2. […] there is progress to report on net neutrality. The ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch weighs in on the news that the first House Republican, Mike Coffman of Colorado, has signed on to th… the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules. Coffman has also introduced a net neutrality bill […]

  3. […] First House Republican Moves to Restore Net Neutrality American Library Association Net neutrality is the idea that internet providers should not have the ability to curtail your internet results based on willingness to pay. This idea came under fire this past year and the FCC’s net neutrality regulations were repealed. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) is the first Republican to sign on to a request for House leadership to hold a vote on the Congressional Review Act to restore strong, enforceable net neutrality rules. Could this be the beginnings of bipartisan support for the new bill? […]

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