It’s been a couple months since the FCC voted to repeal federal net neutrality regulations. We were all disappointed in the decision, but we told you we’d continue the fight, and we wanted to share an update on what you can do to help.
The debate has now moved to Congress, which is good news. Unlike the FCC, which is unelected and less immediately accountable to voters, members of Congress depend on input from their constituents to help inform their positions—especially during an election year like this one.
“But wait,” you say. “I already called my Congressperson last year, and we’re still in this mess! What’s different now?” Three words: Congressional Review Act.
What is it?
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is basically Congress’s downvote. It lets them undo the FCC’s order through a “resolution of disapproval.” This can be formally introduced in both the Senate and the House within 60 legislative days after the FCC’s order is officially published in the Federal Register, which happened last week. It needs a simple majority in both houses to pass. Our friends at Public Knowledge have made a video explaining the process.
What’s happening in Congress?
Now that the FCC order has been published in the Federal Register, the clock for the CRA is ticking. Members of both the House and Senate who care about Net Neutrality have already been securing the votes they need to pass the resolution of disapproval. In fact, the Senate version is only #onemorevote away from the 51 it needs to pass!
What should I do?
Today, we’re calling on you to phone your members of Congress and tell them what you think! You can see exactly where members stand on this issue so far on this scoreboard. If they’re already on board with the CRA, great! Thank them for their efforts and tell them you appreciate it. Positive feedback for good work is important.
If they still need convincing, here is a script to help guide your conversation:
“My name is ________ and I live in ______. I’m calling today to share my support for strong net neutrality rules. I’d like to ask Senator/Representative_______ to use the CRA to pass a resolution of disapproval overturning the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.”
–Be polite. That thing your grandma said about the flies and the honey and the vinegar is right. Remember, the people who disagree with us are the ones we need to convince.
–Only call the Senators and Representatives who actually represent YOU. Calls are most effective when they come from actual constituents. If you’re not sure who represents you or how to get in touch with them, you can look it up here.
–If this issue affects you personally because of who you are or what you do, let them know! Local business owner who uses the web to reach customers? Caregiver who uses telemedicine to consult patients? Parent whose child needs the internet for school assignments? Share that. The more we can put a human face on this, the better.
–Don’t give up. The nature of our democratic system means that things can be roundabout, messy, and take a long time to accomplish. Perseverance is key. We’ll be with you every step of the way.