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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 16, 2018 11:29am-1:29pm EDT

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cable. if republicans in the congress allow this administration to get away with repealing net neutrality, americans can certainly be expected to be charged more for netflix, for music services on spotify, for video game downloads, for example, on playstation. so this isn't some academic policy question that's going to show up years from now, and certainly there are matters we talk about where that could be the case. this is where the trump federal communications commission could hand big cable companies more power and take more money out of the pockets of the american people next month.
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mr. president, i'm very appreciative of my colleague, ed markey, for the extraordinary leadership role he has taken. he and i have enjoyed teaming up since the days when we began in public service. senator markey was then congressman markey, and he introduced the first net neutrality bill in the house, and i had the honor of partnering with him when i introduced the first net neutrality bill in the senate. and both of us said literally more than a decade ago, we needed communications policies that were rooted in the principle of nondiscrimination, transparency, openness, and freedom for all online. and here we are, back in this
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fight once again, and passing the markey resolution, which in effect ensures that what my colleague's sponsor today sought to do a decade ago and i partnered with him on actually gets done. now everybody understands that you have to pay a fee to get access to the net. the question at the heart of this debate, that you have to keep coming back to, is once you pay that fee, shouldn't everybody get a fair shake? shouldn't we be able to say in america, once you pay that fee, you ought to be able to go where you want, when you want, and how you want? or should, as the trump f.c.c. s to do, should you say that the big cable companies should hot wire the system, rig the
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internet for the benefit of those who can afford to pay more? and i would just say because i've been listening to my friend talk about this, their vision is really something along the lines of an information aristocracy, where if you have deep pockets, you're going to have access to a technology treasure trove. but the typical american with their vision is kind of on their way to digital surf tko*pl, and that is why it is so important to understand what chairman pai and the f.c.c. are up to. special deals for special interests. more pore, significantly -- more power, significantly more power for those with deep pockets. what the people opposed to real net neutrality have cooked up is a scheme called paid prioritization, it's part of this, nor markey, i call --
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senator markey, i call their effort to erect these toll booths online. what it means is that if you're among the fortunate few, you get faster download speeds, more content. and if you're a big established company, guess what? you can stifle the competition. you can squash the competition. and those opportunities aren't going to be available to an entrepreneur who's in their garage somewhere just starting out. and for a family that's barely staying afloat, what it sounds like they're interested in is giving them second-rate internet service. and i think senator markey and i remember it wasn't that long ago when big chunks of america had dial-up, and people just seemed to wait forever to get online. now, mr. pai is going to tell you with a straight face that the cable companies, these big cable companies have the best of
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intentions and that they're just sort of going to go along with all of this voluntarily because it's just the right thing to do. but my question is, if the cable companies are just going to go along with net neutrality, why is mr. pai working so hard to get rid of it? it doesn't really stand up. i always say at home, because people ask what it means for us, and they've gotten to meet the charming william peter wyden, age ten, there is about as much chance that the cable companies are going to voluntarily go along with net neutrality, about as much chance as the likelihood that william peter wyden and his sister are going to voluntarily limit the number of their
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desserts. it just isn't going to happen. and in particular, if mr. pai says he believes in real net neutrality, the markey resolution gives him a chance to actually show that. but we all know that he doesn't see it that way. now, mr. president, i just had opened all town hall meetings in oregon, most of them in rural communities. and i'm telling you, i know the distinguished president of the senate represents a lot of rural terrain, people in those rural areas understand what's at stake for rural america. for rural america, without the march did i resolution, it meany resolution, it means the net moves along at a snail's pace. it means rural businesses could have a harder time getting off the ground and reaching
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customers. i talked to ranchers, for example, about just this issue. it means rural health care could miss out on technological marvels that have the potential to save lives. this is particularly important because senator markey and i have teamed up on a lot of the efforts to improve american health care. we have led the fight to show that we're updating the medicare guarantee so that *eufts not -- it's not just going to be an acute care program but it's going to focus on chronic illnesses. senator markey and i have led the effort for more care at home, greater academies to telemed -- access to telemedicine. all those technological march -- marvels depend on rapid access to the net. if you're at home and you've a
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stroke market academies -- market access ensures they have the providers available who can help. the markey resolution and its passage should not be an issue seen on partisan lines. i don't see it as a political question. the bottom line on the debate is if the resolution goes down, the stuff americans do on the internet today is going to cost them a whole lot more tomorrow. and it isn't going to take place years from now and be some kind of abstract question. it's going to be on americans, those extra costs that come out of their pocket, it's going to cost them a lot more in a hurry. so i close by thanking my colleague from massachusetts for all his leadership. it's been my privilege to team
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up with him. i guess it becomes almost bicameral since the two of us started this in the house and senate. i urge my colleagues to support the markey resolution. do the right thing, colleagues. support the consumer, small smal businesses. let's not hand more power and profit to the big cable companies at the expense of americans from sea to shining sea who cannot afford more money coming out of their wallets to go to the big cable companies. mr. president, i see my friend on the floor, and i yield. yes, sir, i'd be happy to yield. mr. markey: i thank the senator. i just wanted to follow up on that very important point which you were making, which is that these big companies are all saying you don't have to worry, because we don't have any intention of discriminating. and then we say, well, that's
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what net neutrality says, that you should not discriminate. you should treat everybody equally. and then they turn around and say you can trust us, but take the rules off the books that we say, that we agree with and we are going to abide with. and sew -- so from my perspective they're trying to have it both ways, but the way they really want to have it is no rules at all. then they're free to go back ting conduct, which we know in the past they're engaged in. do you agree with that assessment? mr. wyden: my colleague from massachusetts is probably being too logical for a lot of this discussion where special interests continue to try to shroud their real agenda, which is what my friend from massachusetts has described. the big cable companies clearly with this effort and their hopes
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riding on mr. pai, they'd like to go back to yesteryear when they could gouge the consumer or they could stick it to the person of modest means. so i think my colleague has summed it up very well. if mr. pai and his allies were really going to present us with a real net neutrality plan, i know we'd be interested in hearing about it. but they've never been interested in that. what they have been interested in is taking a whole lot of legalisms and murky language to try to fool the american consumer. but the bottom line is mr. pai and his allies would like to set up these toll booths across the country and start with a policy
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that one way or another is going to cost the typical consumer more. i look forward to my colleague's remarks. mr. markey: i thank the senator because i think that's what you identified back 12 years ago when you introduced a net neutrality bill here in the senate and what i identified over in the house. we worked together on it at that time. and the need just continues especially as we get deeper and deeper into this internet era where it's almost like oxygen for somebody now, especially young people, young entrepreneurs. they need to know they can gain access to the web in order to start up their new software or internet company. they shouldn't have to first raise money to pay exorbitant fees to the big broadband companies. they should be first free to innote and not have -- innovate and not have to worry that they will be discriminated against.
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whether it's portland, oregon, or it's springfield, massachusetts, it's the same principle, you know, that we have been trying to stand up for for all of these years. it was the law until december of 2017 when ajit pai and the trump f.c.c. took it off the books. that's what the debate is about today. how are we going to put those rules, those nondiscriminatory rules back on the books? mr. wyden: my colleague has said it very well. we also understand and what i saw last week in these nine town meetings, and almost all of them were in rural oregon, and people joked and say, ron, why are you here? we've got more cows than people. and i say my hometown is portland. i love portland. my only frustration is my friend knows, i didn't get to play for the trailblazers. but i'm not a united states senator from the state of portland. i'm a united states senator who
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represents every nook and cranny in oregon, however small. and what i would say to my friend is, and i hope colleagues, because the senate represents a lot of rural terrain, what i heard in places like burns and prairie city last week is that if they have to pay more for less content, which i think could easily happen under these trickle-down telecommunications policies of mr. pai. it is not just going to be portland, oregon, and springfield, massachusetts. it's going to be rural america literally from sea to shining sea that's going to wake up very soon and find their bills going. mr. markey: by the way, mr. it's burns or the berkshires, there are rural parts of every state. we have them as well in
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massachusetts. and they have the same right to have access to free, unfettered, as the people who live in cambridge, massachusetts, or in portland, oregon. the rural parts of every state are entitled to it. the rural business people, the farmers, they should all be able to rely on a guarantee that it's free, open, and they're not going to be discriminated against. that's why i wanted to get up and thank you for your historic leadership on this issue. you were there at the dawn of this whole era and you just continue to ensure that the internet is infused with the values that i i think our nation wants to have it reflect. mr. wyden: it's been a privilege to work with my colleague, and especially to have -- and this has been bipartisan -- make sure that the kinds of policies that can come
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about with real net neutrality and making sure that rural communities get a fair shake compliment other work that we're doing that represents the future. my colleague and i have talked about the fact that in our efforts to update the medicare guarantee for years and years both political parties have missed what medicare has become. back -- back when i was director of the gray panthers, we had medicare part and part b -- part a and part b. that is not medicare any longer. today medicare is cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes and chronic pulmonary disease, all of these chronic conditions. and what my colleague has done, and i'm so appreciative of the fact that we can work together on this, is we said let's update
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the medicare guarantee. it is not a voucher or a slip of paper, it's a guarantee of services. senator markey and i and others of both political parties have come together and said let's get people more care at home, expand the role of telemedicine so if you are in burnes or prairie city, oregon, you can have access to these technological marvels when you don't have a specialist. make no mistake about it, what mr. pai is looking at is a prescription for trouble for rural health care because they, like so many of the people they serve, they are going to face the prospect of those tollbooths and they are going to pay more in many cases for less. so i look forward to working with my colleague and listening to his remarks.
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the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i question the presence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i ask for a vitiation of the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: thank you, mr. president, very much. mr. president, as we conclude this part of the debate, i would just take note of the fact that the american association of retired people today have come
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out in favor of the open internet order, that is the restoring of net neutrality principles. it just follows on what the former head of the gray panthers for the state of oregon, senator wyden, raised today, theee to ensure that everyone gets the fu protection of net neutrality rules. and the vote that we are about to cast is nothing short of the most consequential votes on the internet of this body. we will take an important step to reaffirm the principle of nondiscrimination online or we will allow a few companies to control how we access the internet. we will stand up for the small app develop with a -- developer with a bright idea that can change the world or give another gift to the powerful corporate interest and the lobbists.
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we will protect our economy or say good-bye to the internet as we know it. in 2018, essentially every company is an internet company. in my state of massachusetts and in every other state tech underpins the economy of the united states today. and in 2017, almost half of all venture capital in the united states were invested into internet and software startups, and that's over $34 billion. that's working. that's capitalism at its best. that is small business being able to receive the capital if needed in order to start new companies in our country. small businesses are the ones that hire new people, who do the innovation, that's what the venture capital industry is indicating by pouring money into
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these smaller companies under a regime of net neutrality. so we found the secret recipe. when you take a democracy platform with endless communication and add ingenuity, you get economic growth and innovation. what we're doing is working with net neutrality protections in place there is no problem that needs fixing. this fight began when senator wyden and i introduced net neutrality as legislation back more than a decade ago. i introduced it and senator wyden introduced it because we knew then that the internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform in the history of the world, and since then, the importance of the internet has skyrocketed and the movement to protect it has followed suit. millions of americans are raising their voices for net neutrality because they know the
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power of the internet. they know it can create endless connections and they know it can change the course of civilization in fractions of a second. a vote against net neutrality is a vet to change the fundamental character of the internet. a vote for net neutrality is a vote for america's future. i urge each and every one oy colleagues to vote yes on this resolution. mr. wicker: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: first of all, a bit of housekeeping. i have ten requests to committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. wicker: and, thank you, mr. president. i have -- i have been recognized
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to -- to close the debate on this motion in a few moments -- in a few moments we'll be voting on the motion to proceed to this resolution. i will be voting no and urge my colleagues to do so. this debate today is about a free and open internet and it's also about a thriving and innovative internet. mr. president, we can have both, for decades we have had both, and we can continue to do so if we're smart about this. does every senator in this chamber believe in a free and open internet? yes. does every member of this body want to prevent blocking and throttling of the internet? the answer is a resounding yes.
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does any member of the senate advocate, as my friend from massachusetts just suggested, that a company or two gets to set the rules for the entire internet? absolutely not. do all senators and all congressmen want the internet to be a source of innovation and job creation and prosperity as it has been for a quarter century? i hope so. i hope we all want this information superhighway, this technology superhighway to continue its success. i hope we all want the internet to continue being that phenomenal platform for market competition, health
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advancements, investment, technological progress, efficiency, and safety. i hope we all want this. and if we all want this great engine to keep going, it's important to ask how all this happened in the first place. how did we get here? how did we arrive at this point in our nation's history with a dynamic internet economy that is truly the envy of the world? the answer lies in the creativity and ingenuity of the american spirit. this has allowed the internet to thrive under the light touch regulatory framework that has governed the internet for most of its history. let's revisit a little of that history, mr. president. it was in 1996, i was a freshman member of the house of representatives at this time under a democratic president,
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under a democratic administration that our country was at a crossroads on how to govern this new thing called the worldwide web, the internet. no one could have imagined the success of the internet that we have today. but policymakers had the forsight not to seght the services like the -- not to regulate the services like the services of a bygone era. instead, a very deliberate and thoughtful decision was made to not impose title 2 rules, the same rules from the 1930's that were modeled for the bell mow nop mys that -- bell monopolies that were modeled four times during the great depression. that was the pivotal decision that allowed this great internet
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economy to thrive and be the success it is today. let's fast forward to recently, to 2015, that was the year the f.c.c. made an ill-advised decision to change all of that despite the explosive growth, new application much services and consumer choice that the internet was delivering to americans, the f.c.c. imposed these title 2 rules, and that's what we're debating today. almost immediately we saw a chilling effect on investment and innovation. u.s. companies were right to be uncertain about the archaic title 2 regulations and how they would apply to modern technology. fortunately, this misguided action was reversed last year -- reversed. last year the f.c.c. lifted the 2015 regulations and restored
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the light touch regulatory framework that has benefited consumers for almost two decades and has resulted in this great success. today some in congress are trying to give the government more control again. applying utility-style regulations that would threaten the internet as we know it. we should reject these efforts. if this resolution -- and let me say this, madam president. many of my colleagues correctly, on both sides of the aisle, have been calling for bipartisan legislation to enshrine the net neutrality principles into law, legislation which i support, legislation which members of the minority party have supported. if this resolution passes today, it will amount to a statement, merely nothing more.
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senator thune will give senators an opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation today. i hope we'll do that, and i hope once this statement is made, we will move on to enshrininshrinit neutrality principles into a law that protects consumers and promotes innovation. thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will resume legislative session. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i move to proceed to the immediate consideration of order number 406, s.j. res. 52. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 406, senate joint resolution 52 providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, united states code of the rules submitted by the federal
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communications commission relating to restoring internet freedom. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. mr. markey: madam president, i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: is there any senator in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 52 on the measure. nays are 47. the motion to proceed is agreed to. the clerk will report the joint resolution. the clerk: calendar number 406, s.j. res. 52, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 title 5 united states code of the rules submitted by the federal communications commission relating to restoring internet freedom. the presiding officer: pursuant to the provisions of the congressional review act,
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5-usc-# -- 802 there will be up to ten hours of debate equally divided between those favoring and opposing the resolution. who yields time? if no one yields time, time will be equally divided between the sides. mr. schumer: madam president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: thank you, madam president. as the minority, we typically cannot move legislation on the floor without the consent of the
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majority leader. but under the rules governing congressional review, any group of 30 senators can petition to discharge a c.r.a., a congressional review act, from the committee and bring it up to the floor subject to majority vote. that's what senator markey has just done with the c.r.a. on net neutrality, and the vote that just concluded means the full senate will now consider it because i believe there were 53 -- 52 votes in favor. for the first time in this congress the majority will be called to vote on an issue. i suspect they'd rather avoid. net neutrality is a complex issue but an incredibly consequential one. at stake is the future of the internet, which until this point in our history has remained free and open, accessible and affordable to most americans. that fundamental equality of
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access is what has made the internet so dynamic, a catalyst for innovatio aoolor learning, a means of instant and worldwide communication. to ensure the internet stayed that way, the obama-era f.c.c. instituted net neutrality rules to prevent large internet service providers from segmenting the internet into fast and slow lanes. from selling faster service to folks who could pay, slower service to others. we didn't want that. from charging customers more for their favorite sites, from divvying the internet into packages like cable tv. why was this so important? because if large cable and internet companies were allowed to do this, the internet wouldn't operate on a level playing field. big corporations and folks who could pay would enjoy the
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benefits of fast internet and speedy delivery to their customers, while start-ups, small businesses, public schools, average folks, communities of color, rural americans could well be disadvantaged. net neutrality protected everyone and prevented large i.s.p.'s from discrimination against any customers. that era, the era of a free and open internet, unfortunately will soon come to an end. in december the republican-led f.c. votedo repeal the net neutrality rules, and on june 11 of this year that repeal will go into effect. it may not be a cataclysm on day one, but sure as rain, if internet service providers are given the ability to start charging more for preferred service, they'll find a way to do it. so the democratic position is very simple. let's treat the internet like the public good that it is. we don't let water companies or
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phone companies discriminate against customers. we don't restrict access to interstate highways saying you can ride on the highway, you can't. we shouldn't do that with the internet either. that's what the democratic net neutrality c.r.a. would ensure. now three republicans, we appreciate, joined cloture on our bill. we hope more will come with us. where do our republicans stand on this issue? why haven't we heard much from them on this issue when it's a typical issue that protects the middle class, working families, average americans from big special interests taking advantage of them? i suspect our colleagues are kind of quiet on this issue because the arguments made by opponents of net neutrality aren't very convincing. some opponents say net neutrality is unwarranted and burdensome regulation, something that hampers thenet. inter i'd remind those critics that
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net neutrality has been on the books for several years, and the internet is working just fine. furthermore, the net neutrality rules were upheld by the courts as appropriate consumer protection. yet, you'll hear too many of my republican friends say that we shouldn't restore net neutrality through this c.r.a. because we need bipartisan legislation to deal with this issue. that argument is a duck, it's a dodge. it's a way for my republican friends to delay. democrats are happy to do bipartisan legislation to enshrine net neutrality into law, but the legislation is going to take time. in the meantime we must ensure consumers have a safety net right now, and this c.r.a. is the quickest and surest way of doing it, plain and simple. if you're for net neutrality, you ought to be for senator markey's c.r.a. madam president, this issue presents a stark contrast.
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are you on the side of the large internet and cable companies, or are you on the side of the average american family? that's what the vote on this legislation is all about. and i say to every american who cares about an open and free internet, today's the day, contact your republican senator, see who votes for net neutrality and who votes against, and let them know how you feel about the way they voted. this is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable for all americans. i yield the floor. mr. thune: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: madam president, i rise today in support of net
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neutrality. let me say that again. i rise in support of net neutrality, contrary to the assertions that some of our colleagues on the left have made, there are many of us who believe that codifying net neutrality principles makes sense if we really want to solve this problem. what doesn't make sense is this misguided resolution. all of us value the internet. it connects us to commerce, friends, family, news, learning opportunities, and entertainment. most americans expect their internet experience to remain free from meddling by anyone. it doesn't matter if it's a cable company or an unelected bureaucrat. americans appreciate online freedom. if this resolution offered these protections and simply implemented widely supported net neutrality principles, i would support it. unfortunately, this isn't the case. the resolution offered by senator markey would impose
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partisan, onerous, and heavy-handed regulations on the internet. some of these regulations lack a fundamental connection to net neutrality principles and harm consumer freedom. net neutrality, for example, isn't about regulating mobile phone plan offerings to meet a government internet standard. but the markey resolution would restore rules that the obama federal communications commission used to scrutinize such popular and affordable plans. net neutrality principles don't necessitate government rate regulation on companies working to connect americans in rural areas, places like my state of south dakota, or on upgrading existing networks. but again, the chairman of the obama federal communications commission nonetheless defended the need for broad authority to threaten rate regulation, and that's exactly what the markey resolution seeks to restore. the implicit threat of such
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government intervention and statements can have a profound impact on innovation and the 21st century internet. the internet has certainly thrived under a model that rejects data discrimination. needless to say, before 2015, it had never before faced such a threat of increased government control. net neutrality, the idea that legal internet traffic should operate transparently and without discrimination doesn't represent the heavy hand of government. the heavy hand of government is, however, plain to see in the plan democrats first passed in 2015 and are now seeking to reimpose. the democrats' plan relies on a legal framework passed by congress in the 1930's to regulate telephone monopolies. this framework existed for an era and technology that lacked competition and the entrepreneurship of today's
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internet-based economy. last year the new leadership at the federal communications commission widely discarded these rules. net neutrality, madam president, wasn't the problem. the commission's concern was an onerous depression-era rules were having an adverse effect of having more americans connect to the internet an upgrade service. for congress, the path to restore net neutrality protections while avoiding these unnecessary side effects are straightforward, pass legislation. so actually what the "los angeles times" had to say about this in their editorial. last week the editorial board of california's largest newspaper wrote an important analysis in an editorial entitled, "senate democrats move to revive net neutrality rules the wrong way."
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the "times" wrote, and i quote, rather than jousting over a resolution of disapproval, congress needs to put this issue to bed once and for all by crafting a bipartisan deal giving the commission limited but clear authority to regulate broadband providers and preserve net neutrality. that is from the "l.a. times" editorial. i would like to place that in the record, madam president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: madam president, in my hand i hold the 2015 draft text of legislation that i released, along with my colleagues in the house of representatives, congressman fred upton and congressman greg waldon. since 2015 i have publicly and been consistently ready to work with my colleagues across the aisle on bipartisan net neutrality legislation.
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specifically my draft proposed giving federal regulators new authority to ban blocking, throttling of internet content. it did this without relying on the heavy-handed use of law to police phone monopolies, which is what we're talking about. we're talking about a 1934 law governing the it 1st century -- 21st century internet. think about that. that's precisely what this resolution would do. i realize that this draft resolution isn't perfect. my draft did not anticipate all of the concerns that my colleagues raised and, of course, there is always room for compromise. that's what a legislative discussion, a legislative negotiation is all about. but i need a partner from the other side of the aisle who shares my commitment to drafting a bipartisan solution putting net neutrality first.
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some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have certainly also expressed a view about the need for legislation. some of them come up to me privately offline and say, you're right, we need to do this legislatively, we need clear rules of the road to place, this? not the way to solve the problem. few are willing to athat publicly. but my distinguished member on the subcommittee told the publication tech crunch only six months ago, and i quote, my point of view, and by the way i had this point of view when it was president obama and tom wheeler at the f.c.c. at the time, to the chagrin of my friends should be litigated. this was made virtually on the eve of the f.c.c.'s final vote to disassemble the 2015 rules. what changed? why are we debating a bipartisan bill instead after partisan
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resolution? well, some on the other side of the aisle reached the cynical conclusion that exploiting concern of the internet outweighed the value of working with republicans to pass net neutrality protections. for others who had a genuine desire to work with me, the forces of a highly politicized campaign to impose a democrat-only solution can overwhelm the best of intentions. and make no mistake, the campaign behind this congressional review act resolution has been primarily driven by fearmongering hypotheticals, misdirection, and outright false claims. and to make that point in march, this march, "the washington post" fact checker took senate democrats to task for a particularly egregious claim that failure to pass the markey resolution would lead to a slower internet.
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the fact check concluded that the examined claim, made through the democrat caucus' twitter account, conveyed the impression that a slowdown is imminent. the fact check wrote, that there is scant -- that there should be a slow down. it meant that statement made by the democrat caucus on this particular subject got not one, not two, but three pinocchios from "the washington post" from being a false claim. from "the washington post" fact checker. and i would ask unanimous consent, madam president, that fact check be included in the senate record as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: in reality all major daibl and phone providers said they will continue net neutrality policies. under the new rules put in place, federal agencies can take action against privacy
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violations and unfair business practices by internet companies. in stark contrast, one unavoidable irony of the markey resolution, as observed by the editorial in today's "wall street journal" is that it would weaken online consumer privacy protections by taking the only agency enforcing them off the beat. if this resolution were to be ultimately enacted, which it won't, but if it were, it would take the federal trade commission which currently regulates and polices privacy issues completely out of the equation. to be sure, congress needs to set long-term protections for the internet and it shouldn't delay, but the significant harm uncertainty inflibts on the internet -- inflicts on the internet will manifest iefts through stifled investment rather than a sudden waive of
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net neutrality violations. that is a simple fact of the matter. after all the new rules approved under the trump administration, closely follow those that long regulated the internet before 2015 and are largely, though not completely, in effect now. and that's one thing i just want to continue to hammer, mr. president, and that is that what we're talking about here are the rules that were in place for the first two decades of the internet. for the first two decades of the internet, we operated under what was called a light touch approach to regulation. the internet under that regime of light touch prospered, flourished, grew, expanded, innovated to the point where it has become a huge economic engine in our economy. so what was the 2015 f.c.c. ruling designed to solve? well, that, frankly, is a really good question. but the fact of the matter is what the f.c.c. is proposing to do and will do on june 11 of
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this year is go back to the 2015 rules, the rules that were in place for the first two decades of the internet. and i would tell you, mr. president, that on june 12, after these rules go into effect, that no consumer in this country is going to see any change from what they see today. they are still going to be able to watch the internet. they are still going to be able to go to all of their favorite social media platforms, and there isn't going to be any change from what we have seen up to this point because that's what we were going back to, our rules that were in place for two decades under a light touch regulatory approach that allowed the internet to explode and prosper and grow. mr. president, the markey resolution is offered to this body without opportunity for amendment or any bipartisan input about what the rules governing the internet should say. a vote against the markey resolution is a vote for ending this cynical exploitation of the
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internet. a vote against the markey resolution is a vote for the senate to get to work on a bipartisan net neutrality legislation. the "l.a. times" said pass legislation. that's the best way to solve this, not to come up with this bizarre exercise which we all know isn't going anywhere but will allow the activists and the donors out there on the far left an opportunity now to take this campaign to the house of representatives where it isn't going anywhere, and, of course, it would be vetoed by the president even if it did and so all we're doing is stalling, we're delaying, we're making it more difficult, i think, to get to a solution on this because it will prevent those who are truly interested in a bipartisan solution and answer on net neutrality to keep from coming to the table in order it make that happen. as i said, we've been working on this for a long, long time, and
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i've been looking for a democrat partner. all we need are a few courageous democrats who are willing to acknowledge what this is, which is a political partisan charade and get serious about bipartisan legislation. because there isn't going to be a single amendment that can be offered to this. this is not going anywhere, and if we really, truly want to solve the problem, there are fair-minded people serious about this who would like to sit down akro -- across the table and work on a draft of legislation that would put internet principles in place and protections in place but use a light touch regulatory approach, not the 1930's approach that this resolution would turn to regulate the 21st century internet. i'm at a loss, frankly, to understand why any rational,
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reasonable person could come to the conclusion that using a 1934 law and regulating the internet like a public utility, a ma bell telephone company would be the right approach in this age in which we live where the internet has thrived and prospered under a light touch regulatory regime. and so, mr. president, i'm going to ask unanimous consent that s.j. res. 52 be returned to the calendar and the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of senate bill 2853. i further ask that it be in order for ten amendments equally divided between the managers or their deg detainees and relative to the bill be -- designees and relative to the bill, and upon the use or yielding back of that time the senate vote on any pending amendments. finally, upon disposition of the
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amendments the bill as amended, if amended, be considered read a third time and the senate vote on passage of the bill. the presiding officer: is there objection? the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: reserving the right to object. mr. president, senator thune's bill is problematic, both substantively and procedurally. there have been no committee hearings on his proposal and it is not ripe yet for consideration here on the senate floor, and as a result, mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. thune: mr. president, what you just sherd an objection to -- heard is an objection to having a reasonable debate. the point that the senator from massachusetts made, clearly the unanimous consent request called for an opportunity to have amendments considered by both sides of this discussion. and that what -- and what that tells me, again, is that what
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this is about is not serious legislating, it is about, again, the political theater associated with this congressional resolution of disapproval which has absolutely no future, is going nowhere, and does nothing to address the fundamental underlying problem which colleagues on both sides acknowledge need to be addressed. so i will, for the record, mr. president, did attempt to bring up a serious piece of legislation, one that provides the consumer protection, that bans blocking lawful content, that bans the throttling of lawful content and bans paid prioritization, most of what my colleagues on the other side say they want to address. no piece of legislation is perfect. i would say to my colleague from massachusetts we would be more than willing to enter in a discussion and a debate with an opportunity to offer amendments in order to perfect this piece of legislation, but, frankly, if we continue down this path with
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the c.r.a., all we're going to do is waste more time, valuable time i might add, and continue to live in a cloud of uncertainty where one f.c.c. or the next continue to change the rules and where companies spend millions of dollars in litigation on lawsuits rather than plowing it into infrastructure, plowg it into -- plowing it into investment and new technologies that could deliver higher speed, faster internet services and higher quality services to people around the country, including those in rural areas who desperately need those types of services made available to them. so i i guess with that, -- so i guess with that, mr. president, i will reserve the balance of my time. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i request by unanimous consent that my legislative fellow collin
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anderson be granted floor privileges until the end of jun. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, only in washington, d.c., and perhaps only in the walls of this capitol, is net neutrality regarded as a partisan issue. only here are there accusations that the left or the right favor a position on net neutrality. and the rest of america, net neutrality is bipartisan. in fact, nonpolitical. it is the lifeblood of the internet. it is the animating principle that enables companies and individuals to have equal access to the internet without blocki blocking, discriminating, price gouging, or favoring of some
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companies at the expense of others. in fact, in legislatures across the country like connecticut's, there have been proposals to do there what we are seeking to do here. that is, to preserve an open internet in accordance with the open internet order which has been rolled back by the f.c.c. strong net neutrality rules are accepted across the country on both sides of the aisle in state legislatures and state governments, in boardrooms, and in all the communities where people come together seeking to communicate and use the internet in the highest and best way that it can be used. and one example, in new haven, just one is c clicks fix.
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c clicks fix is a new haven company that helps citizens communicate with their local government to improve their community. the internet's incredible economic success and this company have been made possible because it's a free and open platform. this company has a good idea. it can put that good idea to work helping people make their local and state governments work better and be more responsive. that success story has been repeated countless times because of net neutrality and the open internet. we are here to stop malign rule making run amok. the f.c.c. under the leadership of its chairman has in effect
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rolled back the progress that was made with the open internet order. it defied ten years of evidence and at pattern of market consolidation and merger that endangered the open internet. it defied evidence of discrimination that was taken over the rule-making process. and it basically ignored a court order upholding the open internet order, a court order that was the result of indepth and determined litigation to stop that order and that effort was rejected. the justice department has shown from at&t's own internal documents that it sought to use its merger with time warner to
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raise prices and to hinder competition from online services. a proposed merger between t-mobile and sprint threatens to further reduce scarce competition in wireless. big broadband companies have more financial incentive and less market deterrence to obstruct competition than ever before and chairman pai's plan would enable those broadband companies holding near monopolies over access to consolidate even more power. if the broadband companies are able to block, throttle, or charge fees for certain applications on website, the results will be higher prices, less innovation, and fewer new products. reversal of net neutrality is a
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consumer's worst nightmare. but it is also a nightmare for small businesses and for competition and innovation and creativity in america. i urge my colleagues to support s.j. res. 52, the resolution of disapproval of the f.c.c.'s disastrous plan to roll back net neutrality. it is vital to protecting consumers and small businesses, preserving the open internet, and upholding the integrity of the rule-making process. if this effort fails to succeed, the challenge in the courts will overturn chairman pai's rollback of neat neutrality because he embarked on a preordained purpose without proper rule making to overturn the rule
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adopted by the f.c.c. before he became chairman. when he initiated that process, he promised a, quote, open and transparent process, but the outcome was predetermined from the start. that is not the way rule making should occur. that's why the courts will overturn it. that is why we should be protective and proactive in this body and adopt senate joint resolution 52. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. ms. warren: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. ms. warren: thank you, mr. president. this very moment a high school junior is reading a report online for a class paper she has due at the end of the week. not far from her house, a single mom who recently quit her job to follow her dream of becoming an
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app developer is online teaching herself to code in a city thousands of miles away, a small business owner is processing an order online to keep the lights on and the bills paid for another month. and every night in living rooms across this country, grandparents pick up their smartphones to video chat with newborn grandchildren who are hundreds or even thousands of miles away. you know, let's face it. the internet is intricately woven into the fabric of american society. it is a very important part of our lives. but right now our access to a fair and open internet is under siege. in december, the federal communications commission, the f.c.c., voted to eliminate the net neutrality protections that stop internet providers from blocking access, filtering content, or charging higher fees for fast lanes. three tactics that giant
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internet companies want to use to control the internet. mr. president, the repeal of these protections has corporate greed and corruption written all over it. this may be what the special interests want, but the american people are opposed to the very idea of a restricted internet. neat neutrality provisions are wildly popular. when it comes to a free and open internet, 83% of americans are clear about their position. they want and they demand a free and open internet. that is true for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and people from all backgrounds. so you have to ask yourself, why would the f.c.c. vote to eliminate those protections? i'll tell you why. because under this administration, the f.c.c. has become a puppet for giant internet providers.
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the f.c.c.'s current chairman ajit pai has made it clear that he will work to put special interests over what's good for the american people. the f.c.c. was once an agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the public interest, but it has morphed into an agency that exists solely to do the bidding of giant telecom companies. it is a disgrace. but who can say that we didn't see this coming? when donald trump won the white house, then f.c.c. commissioner pai said that net neutrality's days were numbered. and once trump selected pai to lead the f.c.c., chairman pai immediately got to work getting rid of net neutrality. he opened up a new public comment period laying out a plan to destroy net neutrality, and he made it clear that he would ignore the views of millions of americans who weighed in to urge
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him to abandon that plan. the f.c.c. received more comments on chairman pai's plan to kill net neutrality than any other rule in f.c.c.'s history. millions submitted comments opposing chairman pai's plan to kill net neutrality but the f.c.c. said it would ignore those comments unless they were in its opinion seriously legal arguments. during the comment process, it was revealed that some of the comments had come from those who stolen american identities. others had come from russian addresses but pai dismissed those concerns. he demonstrated that no matter what, he would forge ahead with his plan to hand over the internet to the biggest and most powerful internet providers. if chairman pai's plan is
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implemented, internet companies will literally get to set their own rules governing access to the internet. as long as they put their rules somewhere in the fine print, internet providers can pretty much do whatever they please. that's not the way government is supposed to work. the internet was created by a bunch of government and government-funded workers, and it is the government's job to protect americans' access to a fairnd open internet. the internet doesn't belong to jientsgiant internet companies. it belongs to students striving to build a better future. it belongs to the young women and men working day and night on a new idea that will change the world. it belongs to the small business owner whose success depends on operating her business on-line. it belongs to grandmas and grandpas, the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, and friends who depend
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on the internet to remain connected to the people they love. it belongs to people who like to watch their favorite shows online or read the news or shop or play video games or just browse the internet. it belongs to all of us. and if the f.c.c. will not stand up for the public interest, it's up to congress to do so. but it will take this republican-controlled congress prying itself free from the grip of giant companies and doing what's right for the american people. today we can take the first step. i ask every one of my colleagues in the senate to join me in voting yes on the c.r.a. resolution to restore net neutrality provisions. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you, mr.
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president. mr. president, i'm here to lift up the voices of the families that i represent in the state of washingtho like so many otherme internet should be fre and ope open, who agree our country should support small business owners and entrepreneurs and students and middle-class families, not big corporations and special interests, who agree that consumers, not broadband providers should get to pick the websites that they visit or applications that they use. who agree the internet should be a level-playing field that benefits end users and not slanted by broadband providers blocking content or charging for prioritized access. that's why so many of us are here on the floor today, to give a voice to the vast majority of americans who want the internet to remain a place that fosters innovation and economic opportunity and robust consumer choice and the free flow of
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knowledge. mr. president, these things are not a luxury. they are what makes american ingenuity possible. and i just have to say as a former preschool teacher, i support net neutrality because it helps the next generation of innovators, our students, especially those in rural and low-income areas. schools have worked very hard to improve access to high-speed connectivity for all students because they know from early education through higher education and through workforce training, students need high-speed internet in order to learn and get the skills that they need. their teachers need the internet to collaborate with colleagues, access educational material, help students learn valuable research and internet safety skills, and expand access to a high-quality education for students with disabilities and english learners. rolling back net neutrality threatens that


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