House Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), along with other House E&C committee members and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, gathered Thursday afternoon (4/26) at the House Triangle to voice their disapproval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai‘s plan to take away Title II, thus ending net neutrality.
To Pallone, Pai’s efforts “undercut” net neutrality protections.
Pallone was joined by Clyburn, and House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), along with Democratic House E&C members Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY).
Speaking for the group, Pallone said, ““President Trump’s FCC just announced its plan to ignore the will of the American people and kill net neutrality. Congressional Republicans asked the FCC to take the lead in stripping away our online protections, and today, FCC Chairman Pai complied – taking the first steps towards killing net neutrality.”
He continued, “Net neutrality is the essential foundation of free speech and opportunity online. In today’s political and economic environment, the free and open internet is more important than ever. It’s how people organize across the country and across political lines. It’s how people find new jobs and new opportunities, and how small businesses compete. But under Chairman Pai’s plan, nothing stops political powers from pushing broadband companies to choke off dissenting views or big companies from gaining unfair advantages over small businesses online.”
Pallone believes Pai “uses a lot of flowery language about abstract net neutrality principles.” But, Pallone admits, Pai’s position has been remarkably consistent.
“Two years ago, he said net neutrality was a solution in search of a problem,” Pallone said. “Two months ago, he said net neutrality’s days are numbered. And two hours ago, he announced his plan to kill it. His plan is clear, sabotage net neutrality by kicking the legal legs out from under it, but we cannot let this happen. We will fight with the American people to keep these important protections in place in order to protect a free and open internet.”