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Net Neutrality Repeal Will Get a Senate Vote In the Spring, Democrats Say (arstechnica.com) 127

Congressional Democrats today introduced legislation that would prevent the repeal of net neutrality rules, but they still need more support from Republicans in order to pass the measure. According to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), they will force a vote on the Senate version of the resolution sometime this spring. Ars Technica reports: Democrats have been promising to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution ever since the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its net neutrality rules in December. But lawmakers had to wait for the FCC's repeal order to be published in the Federal Register, which only happened last week. The CRA resolution would nullify the FCC's repeal order, allowing net neutrality rules that were passed in 2015 to remain in place. The resolution has public support from 50 out of 100 senators (all Democrats, all Independents, and one Republican), putting it one vote shy of passage in the Senate.

"The grassroots movement to reinstate net neutrality is growing by the day, and we will get that one more vote needed to pass my CRA resolution," Markey said. "I urge my Republican colleagues to join the overwhelming majority of Americans who support a free and open Internet. The Internet is for all -- the students, teachers, innovators, hard-working families, small businesses, and activists, not just Verizon, Charter, AT&T, and Comcast and corporate interests."

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Net Neutrality Repeal Will Get a Senate Vote In the Spring, Democrats Say

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  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @06:36PM (#56197009)

    ... is that anything done through it can be undone through it.

    I have a phone and a pen? Remember?

    Well, that has limitations and the first of those is that the next guy that comes along with a phone and a pen can reverse it.

    No substitute for going through the proper legislative process.

    Here people will say "its slow"... its faster than the alternatives because the alternatives won't work. The way that takes a long time but works when compared against the way that is fast and fails... Do it the right way.

    Get the votes and pass your law.

    • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @07:07PM (#56197171) Journal

      Congress brought this silliness on themselves by devolving much major de facto lawmaking power onto regulatory agencies, which constitutionally means the President as part of his power to "execute" the laws.

      Golly! Some are upset by it!

      Golly! "Regulatory agencies remove the politics from it is a feature, not a flaw!"
      Until it isn't and you need outrage.

       

    • ... is that anything done through it can be undone through it.

      Executive orders are easy for the next administration to reverse, just issue a new order. Enact regulations though the administrative processes, can also be undone using the administrative process....

      However you *cannot* redo a regulation which was reversed using the CRA process easily, because then it takes an act of congress to undo the act of congress, literally. It's like you passed a law that says "Congress forbids you from making a regulation like that".

      In Fact, some have suggested that this featur

      • Of course, which is why it should be done through congress.

        We agree.

        • I'm typically of the mind to create the regulatory impetus and then refine it as we learn new things through the fast-moving nature of administration. When the administration does it wrong, we fix it; when it does something right, we can try to define and describe that in a broad sense to create a safety net against backwards administrative action.

          We all seem to be looking at the problem in the same way, with the same general approach, and working out the details.

          • Just don't get married to any solution until its been codified by the legislature. The authority of it all absent that is "well the executive wants to do it"... which remains law until the executive changes its mind.

            • Pretty much, yeah. I'm a free-enterprise market capitalist through and through: I think legislative solutions are rigid and stifle innovation, whereas broad regulatory power is flexible and sensitive to unpredicted facts of economy and emergent situations. When the regulatory bodies discover a basic form from which we want to build, however, I favor a move to regulate that body by codifying the control into the foundational mission of the administration.

              That's also why I push for a stronger ACA requir

              • in regards to the ACA... I think a lot of people are using a series of different unrelated problems to justify a preconceived solution.

                The entire thing has been dishonest from the start.

                And as the means are the ends, the ends are misinformation and deceit.

                • Perhaps. People are pushing for universal single payer and claiming something something corporate profits out of healthcare etc. I worry that the private providers will get soaked by private suppliers, and then the sampling of the market to adjust will show that, yes, it actually does cost ...wow when did healthcare get this expensive? Giant hand-out to suppliers on the taxpayer dime.

                  I want universal access to healthcare, and I want it at the lowest risk possible, with minimal costs, and with comprehens

                  • Its a more expansive issue when you see it economically and see that we're making the same mistake across several different problems.

                    University education costs are going up and up.
                    House prices are going up and up.
                    And Healthcare costs are going up and up.

                    They are all being very heavily subsidized by the government and being supplied by private interests.

                    They're all examples of "demand side" subsidy. Where you give people money to buy something. This is known to increase costs. Its basic supply and demand.

                    If

                    • They're all examples of "demand side" subsidy. Where you give people money to buy something. This is known to increase costs. Its basic supply and demand.

                      Medicare for All advocates say we'll dictate the prices, essentially.

                      My strategy is to expand the ACA, meaning consumers buy goods from employers, and employers want the lowest prices (really: most profitable prices) because consumers will go to another seller to get things cheaper (competition impacts profitable price). Employers thus want the lowest costs, which means lower-priced insurance. We mandate what insurance they must supply, so there's a bound; otherwise, it goes down from there: consumer,

                    • As to dictating prices, you have to take control of supply when you do that otherwise the market will respond with shortages.

                      Which means full socialization. Medicare for all will require that or you'll get a Venezuela/Weimar response from the market.

                      As to solutions, I'd point out that most of the "problem" is increasing costs. If we compare the cost of a broken arm 50 years ago to what it costs to set a broken arm today... we find that it is dramatically more expensive despite the procedure used to set brok

                    • As to dictating prices, you have to take control of supply when you do that otherwise the market will respond with shortages.

                      Wrong! The supply in a free market adjusts to effective demand; it's just a grand fantasy that things are free. Production require human labor (time), and you can't magically dictate that things are cheap and have it be so: you will end up without the labor capacity to produce all those lovely things you thought you could get free by asserting that money is imaginary and we are infinitely-wealthy by the simple fact that we can command banks to give people infinite free money.

                      The market will respond wi

                    • As to prices going down when demand increases, that is contrary to econ 101.

                      Price is set by Supply AND Demand. If there is high demand for hand made Italian super cars, then you don't suddenly get a dramatic fall in Italian super cars. The Supply is limited. As demand increases, costs generally go up.

                      You see the same thing with Gasoline etc.

                      If you want me to cite wikipedia or something then I can do that. But you're basically saying 1+1=5.

                      That's incorrect. I suggest not doubling down on that error.

                      As to Tim

                    • As to prices going down when demand increases, that is contrary to econ 101.

                      Yep, it is [xkcd.com].

                      That's incorrect. I suggest not doubling down on that error.

                      Challenge accepted!

                      So the concept of supply and demand suggests that, with greater supply, prices go down; and with greater demand, prices go up. People interpret this in a vacuum, until they realize supply and demand are relative to each other: supply outstrips demand, or demand outstrips supply.

                      This is still inexact, and so people eventually refine the argument to discuss the demand curve, which is the demand (dependent) for a product at a particular price (independent).

                      So what does th

                    • As to the argument that subsidizing demand by handing everyone a fixed amount will lower prices.

                      We can see emperically that that didn't happen.

                      Beyond that, you're not employing market forces to drive competition because the government is setting a base level subsidy that suppliers will not go below because they don't have to go below it.

                      What is more, the government raises this subsidy basically whenever suppliers say they want more. This means prices will continue to go up.

                      Given regulations and other market

                    • Beyond that, you're not employing market forces to drive competition because the government is setting a base level subsidy that suppliers will not go below because they don't have to go below it.

                      Not really. The Government is requiring the purchase of a certain thing, as with car insurance, when you have an employee (it's employee insurance!). You have a competitive market trying to be the supplier of that thing.

                      It's the same thing as food: everybody buys it.

                      You keep suggesting that we'll be handing every consumer some money, they'll spend that money on a thing, and the supplier will raise the price of that thing.

                      Problem: we're not handing consumers money.

                      Consumers are, as rational actors

                    • Look, we can all just say things that aren't so and pretend.

                      Santa clause will do it... hide the eggs for the easter bunny and so on.

                      Your "competitive market" has suppliers fleeing it left right and center. To the point where there are many people that have only ONE licensed supplier in their area. And in some places... NONE.

                      So that's a fantasy. If your market were competitive then it would be healthy. It is a forced system that operates contrary to market forces in almost all ways and pays the price for tha

                    • Look, we can all just say things that aren't so and pretend

                      Sure, that seems to be your primary debate strategy.

                      do you see hospitals and doctors bidding against each other for the business of sick people?

                      Yes. The collective bargaining organization I'm signed up with--Carefirst of Maryland--negotiates prices lower than even Medicare, which is why I suggested the Federal system use the lowest market-negotiated rates as its price ceilings at each provider: the private market is better at this.

                      Next, you'll be claiming labor unions push wages down.

                    • No, what I am doing is not denying reality.

                      Prices under the ACA went up. That is a fact. According to Obama administration estimates they should have gone down. They did not.

                      The models you are basing your logic on failed to model reality. They failed.
                      They are bad models.
                      Your doubling down on validating failure is bias on your part.

                      We can talk about arriving at a solution you like. But we cannot make any rational plans about anything if you start with false premises and will not correct your positions when c

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @06:36PM (#56197015) Homepage
    This should be more evidence that there are real and substantial differences between the Democratic and Republican parties. When people say that the two major parties are just the same, this sort of thing shows that isn't the case. There are real differences between the major political parties. This isn't the only example: on both having minimal amounts of gun control, and on climate change, there are real and substantial differences between the parties as they currently stand. And who one votes for and supports can make a real difference.
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @07:17PM (#56197235) Journal

      True, this is evidence that parties matter. But it's also evidence that opposition parties matter.

      Even though the effort by the Democrats to call a vote is Quixotic, it puts both parties on record as to where they stand.

      Both parties do this, and generally it's a good thing -- unless it's overdone. For example, Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare over 60 times, knowing full well it would never happen. That was abusive of the process.

      • Even though the effort by the Democrats to call a vote is Quixotic, it puts both parties on record as to where they stand.

        Until you get people like me in the mix, anyway. I want a bigger conversation on a lot of stuff that's been reduced to political talking points.

        Rumor coming out of DC was my Congressman was going to retire and have his wife run for his seat. He never announced his re-election campaign; he just put his name on the ballot and I've met people who claimed they've heard of me because he mentioned my name while canvassing. From what I'm picking up (fourth-hand information), the DNC has identified me as a th

    • There is no position strongly supported or opposed by either party that won't be flip-flopped within two election cycles. So at any given moment there are some differences, but the are ephemeral and unsubstantial compared to the similarities.

      I would also point out that the American people are more similar than we are different, but the election process is designed to hi-light our differences. And thus we fight against each other.
    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      The problem is the differences are arbitrary and changing - there's no consistent philosphy. So in 4 years the party could be saying the exact opposite of what it says today. Bush Jr was against nation building and offensive wars, yet that is his legacy. Under his leadership, they expanded medicare with the prescription drug plan, then under Obama they fought tooth-and-nail against expanding healthcare. The republicans were fiscal hawks last year, now they are spendaholics. The only reason I can see fo

      • by shilly ( 142940 )

        This isn't accurate. You've described a problem for the GOP -- all your examples are Republican. The GOP has been shameless for at least three decades in promising and fighting for hard-right policies (like scrapping health coverage, isolationist no-war, fiscal hawks) when they're out of power, and then delivering something completely different in government (Rx expansion, overseas wars, spend like crazy albeit often without the tax income that makes the sums add up).

    • I see by the score on this and the replies that the "control the narrative" trolls are out tonight - I won't waste mod points against the flood of ignorance. Yes, there's a difference. Rotten meat is different than rotten vegetables, BFD. Both are corrupt as ..., it's just that a different set of big money interests own one vs the other, with lots of overlap. Not one initiative in my entire > 60 years has been pro little guy. Not one has done anything but boost big biz, big pharma, MIC, you name it.
      • I see by the score on this and the replies that the "control the narrative" trolls are out tonight - I won't waste mod points against the flood of ignorance.

        Disagreeing with you doesn't make someone a troll. As for most of your comment, the original article gave an example where the difference matters, and I gave two examples in my post where the difference matters, gun control and climate change. Let's be clear, at this point, there's very, very little that matters as much as climate change on the large scale.

        If elections mattered, they wouldn't hold them.

        Who is they? Also, what makes you think this other than general cynicism? What is your evidence?

        Don't bullshit us Joshua - learn before spouting.

        Disagreement with you doesn't mean someone is bullshitti

        • Disagreement that ignores facts may not be trolling, but its still wrong. And provably so.
          • What aspect of the comment is in your viewpoint "bullshit[ting]"? What specific facts are being ignored? And are you going to respond to any of the other questions asked earlier or points raised?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If there are any Republican or Democrat voters here, could you explain why your party favors their position and why the other party favors the other position? (In particular, can you present that other party in the best light, even though you disagree with them?) I'm not so much asking your opinion about NN, as much as I'm wondering why Republicans are against it and why Democrats are for it.

    Is it an actual policy or ideals difference, or is it just because the president (or maybe even the former president)

    • This wasn't a partisan issue a few years ago. To some extent, this is part of a general trend, where almost all issues get a partisan gloss whether it makes any sense or not. There's no intrinsic philosophical reason why their should be a group that's generally pro-life, pro-low taxes and against net neutrality v. a group that is pro-choice, pro-status quo taxes or higher taxes and in favor of net-neutrality. What issues end up on what sides is often (but not always) more due to historical factors than coh
      • The Republican party has "generally" been the party of smaller government, especially in terms of taxes and the regulatory burden (but not the military). The Democratic Party has
        "generally" been the party of believing expert elites in government know better how things should be done and should be allowed the power to make decisions for people's own good.

        This is a basic philosophical difference between the parties, of whether they defer to individual decisions as much as possible or else believe collective d

    • explain why your party favors their position and why the other party favors the other position

      Illustrate your answer with supporting evidence and show your work. Neatness, spelling and grammar will be counted toward your score.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      When the federal government is allowed to set rules about one part of the internet, they can set rules about all the internet.
      To tell what part of the USA gets what quality of internet, when and for how much.
      To promote brands that support one side of US politics above their competition.
      To make any new networking more federally regulated for brands that do not support one side of US politics.
      To ensure areas that vote for one side of US politics keep getting services.
      Areas that did not note vote for
      • by Mr307 ( 49185 )

        This is pretty close to my understanding as well, too bad no one really wants to have an honest discussion about it, pretty much its some shrill 'they destroyed the internets', and lots of downvoting.

    • Happy to help - unlike what you've been told, large mega-corporations generally support Democrats these days (see donations to Hillary, Obama, etc.). So the network neutrality rules were written pretty much by some of the larger ISP's to block pesky competitors from getting too far.

      So the Republicans and Democrats both know that the regulations really do not mean much on their own, but represent a symbolic stand.

      What that means in practice is that Republicans then will generally be OK with repeal, because

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @08:26PM (#56197601)

      Cliffs notes version:

      The FCC originally tried to regulate network neutrality by declaring high speed internet to be under the same regulatory regime as cable television. This didn't work out for a variety of reasons. So the FCC switched to classify high speed internet as a phone service. This suited large ISPs well, but small ISPs find it difficult to comply with the more arcane regulations that come with, and there are some other less visible side effects as well.

      So there are actually have three camps:

      1. Those who don't want the government to regulate high speed internet at all
      2. Those who want the government to enforce network neutrality, but don't think that classifying it as a phone service is the right way to do it
      3. Those who want to regulate network neutrality as a phone service.

      I find it interesting, and somewhat telling, that the Democrats are passing a law to re-instate the Title II network neutrality regulation, instead of a crafting a bill that would allow the FCC to regulate *only* high speed internet as a distinct service from telephone.

      • I find it interesting, and somewhat telling, that the Democrats are passing a law to re-instate the Title II network neutrality regulation, instead of a crafting a bill that would allow the FCC to regulate *only* high speed internet as a distinct service from telephone.

        This is a good point. I've been looking at Net Neutrality as a bigger issue, and a complex one. People don't want "fast lanes" for sensible reasons; meanwhile I'm looking at services that are good for the consumer and saying, hey, I want that preserved.

        Let's look at T-Mobile and AT&T. Also, we'll toss Comcast in the mix for a minute.

        On T-Mobile, anyone who operates a "music streaming service" can e-mail T-Mobile with the details, and T-Mobile will identify their streaming service and not account m

      • 1. Those who don't want the government to regulate high speed internet at all 2. Those who want the government to enforce network neutrality, but don't think that classifying it as a phone service is the right way to do it 3. Those who want to regulate network neutrality as a phone service.

        I think #3 would be more accurately listed as "Those who want to government to enforce network neutrality, and think using Title II is better than doing nothing at all."

        • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

          I think #3 would be more accurately listed as "Those who want to government to enforce network neutrality, and think using Title II is better than doing nothing at all."

          That would make sense when arguing against repealing the Title II network neutrality rules. Now that they have been repealed, the question would be "Why re-instate Title II when you can introduce new legislation to authorize the FCC to regulate last-mile broadband properly?"

  • It WILL fail the vote in the House, if not the Senate.

    But it's the silly election season with the three ring circus in full swing so we will get all sorts of pointless political posturing purporting importance.

  • NN will not solve the real issue. The REAL issue is that the GOP continues to grant Monopolies to companies like Comcast and continue to support them. It needs to be STOPPED.
    The best thing is de-monopolize all of these companies, AND require that no state law should prevent municipals from building out their own fiber based network. By doing this, it restores competition. This is the TRUE solution to the issues that non-regulated ISPs have.
    • NN will not solve the real issue. The REAL issue is that the GOP continues to grant Monopolies to companies like Comcast and continue to support them.

      Citation please? When and where did "{Republicans} grant Monopolies to {snip} Comcast"?

  • ... hold my beer.

  • The Internet is for all -- the students, teachers, innovators, hard-working families, small businesses, and activists, not just Verizon, Charter, AT&T, and Comcast and corporate interests

    To a republican that's not a compelling argument...

  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @09:57PM (#56198013)
    Yes net neutrality is very important but the repeal, along with the erosion of rights and the rising inequality are symptoms of a much larger problem - unlimited and often secret money in politics. Our representives don't represent anyone but thier large donors, that is why thinks like universal background checks have 97% approval rating (republican and democrat and even gun owners agree) but we get nowhere. It's why companies are allowed monopolies, like ISPs, and in the case where there are two in a city they collude to create monopolies anyway and aren't held accountable. It's why the USA pays nearly double the healthcare costs of any other nation and yet our lifespan is 31st in the world, 5 spots lower than Slovenia. It's why corporations are people with more rights than actual humans. It's why people say democrats and republicans are the same (because in this respect they now are).

    We are well and truly fucked if we don't get the money out. If you take corporate dough, you gotta go.
    • You're largely right and still not complete. If we didn't allow the guys who do the pipes to also own the content creators, the whole NN thing would be moot.
      • Exactly, however there was no real room to list out all the ways we are getting the short end of the stick.
      • I also forgot to add that this is taxation without representation, something the founders of the country felt strongly about.
        • Practically, yes it is tax without representation, but I fear that legally it's just a cost, which isn't technically the same thing, even though it actually might as well be. It's maybe what we get for letting lawyers become law makers.
    • that is why thinks like universal background checks have 97% approval rating

      There are some things we need to clean up in the law.

      We also ignore the fragmentation of background check data and the sheer amount of stuff that never gets forwarded to NICS. The NRA brings this up now and then to try and divert the conversation from legislative changes, so it's not a favored Democratic talking point; yet these new laws won't actually work if we don't fix the damned background check system.

      We also need to deal with the criminal justice system and focus more-strongly on behavioral hea

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