House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released some strong statements Monday, the day net neutrality regulations are being rolled back by the Trump administration. In a dramatic video, she called on the House to save net neutrality in order to protect the “free and open” internet.
“Today, the Trump Administration has set into motion the destruction of the free and open Internet,” she claimed. “Their brazen giveaway to big corporate interests will soon hit consumers and small businesses with higher costs and less choice, threatening young people’s access to the good-paying jobs of the future and jeopardizing the entrepreneurial American spirit that is the envy of the world.”
“Americans across the country are raising their voices against the Trump assault on the free Internet, yet House Republicans inexplicably refuse to listen to the will of the people and save net neutrality,” she continued. “Democrats are fighting in the courts and in the Congress to protect Americans’ interests and restore these vital protections, and we will continue to demand a vote on Congressman Mike Doyle’s resolution to force a vote to restore net neutrality.”
The Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn the Obama-era regulations in December. Senate Democrats forced a vote to restore net neutrality through the Congressional Review Act in May. The measure passed 52-47 as three Republicans joined 49 Democrats in voting to pass the measure. The measure is unlikely to succeed in the House.
Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has accused Democrats of "scare tactics" in their opposition to net neutrality repeal. Pai’s children even faced harassment over the repeal.
Pai argues that net neutrality was part of the FCC's regulatory overreach during the Obama administration. He says that net neutrality, passed in 2015, "depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation."
Pai told CBS that he doesn’t believe regulating the internet in the same way phone networks are regulated is the best way to achieve the goal of a "free and open" internet.
He added that the Federal Trade Commission will work to protect consumers.
"We've empowered the FTC to take action against any company that might act in any competitive way," Pai said. "The consumer is going to be protected and we preserve the incentive for companies to build out better, faster, and cheaper internet access."
He said in December that net neutrality rules hampered infrastructure investment, and led to a 5.6 percent decline in high speed networks in past two years.