Cantwell to Senate Republicans: Time to Vote on Net Neutrality, Protect Free and Open Internet

June 11, 2019

Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, joined U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to demand Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring critical net neutrality legislation to the Senate floor for an immediate vote. 

The Save the Internet Act would restore net neutrality protections and keep the internet free and open for everyone. The legislation would reverse the Trump Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) disastrous 2017 repeal of net neutrality protections, which took effect one year ago today. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives two months ago. 

“It’s time to hold cable companies accountable and put consumers ahead of big cable profits,” said Senator Cantwell. “We should have a vote to protect consumers and the innovation economy – a free and open internet is so important to protect.” 

The Save the Internet Act enacts the three legacy net neutrality principles – no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization – and empowers the FCC to prohibit unjust, unreasonable, and discriminatory practices.  The legislation also ensures consumers can make informed decisions when shopping for internet plans and restores the FCC’s authority to fund broadband access and deployment, particularly for rural communities and struggling Americans. 

“The internet is the great equalizer. It’s helping people from different backgrounds participate in our economy, and it’s helping with economic empowerment,” Cantwell said. “But innovative businesses in every small town and every city need to have an internet that is going to give them access to create jobs and move their local economies forward.” 

The Save the Internet Act codifies the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order in a similar manner to last year’s Congressional Review Act that passed the Senate and had bipartisan support in the House. On the Senate floor today, Cantwell requested Leader McConnell bring this legislation up for a vote. 

“It’s time for Leader McConnell to put the big cable companies out here for debate on the Senate floor and hold them accountable,” Cantwell continued. “We should have a vote to protect consumers, to protect the 15,000 internet companies that are 20% of our economy and over 377,000 jobs in my state.”

Senator Cantwell has been a leading advocate for strong net neutrality protections and has called for protecting a free and open internet at events throughout Washington state, including at a 2017 town hall in Seattle, a 2018 rally with tech startup companies at Fellow Coworking in Spokane, a 2018 rally with small businesses at the headquarters of Seattle-based Redfin, and a 2019 roundtable with telehealth officials and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.