Westerman Statement on Net Neutrality Vote

April 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement on the House’s vote on the Save the Internet Act:

“The internet isn’t broken, so why are liberals trying to fix it? In this legislation, House Democrats want to give federal entities nearly unlimited authority to regulate the internet, which is why I voted against it. I support the bipartisan and commonsense ‘bright line’ rules for net neutrality – no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization – that protect consumers, but the Save the Internet Act reaches far beyond these commonsense protections. In rural districts like mine, this bill would slow down or reduce network expansion, a critical delay as I fight to expand broadband connectivity in remote areas.

“This isn’t even the first time we’ve had a net neutrality debate. When President Trump first announced he was repealing regulations, liberals would not stop talking about how this would radically change the internet as we knew it. But when the regulations ceased, these doomsday predictions fell flat. Life continued uninterrupted, and Americans enjoyed affordable and reliable internet access.

“This so-called attempt to ‘save the internet’ has nothing to do with better internet service; it’s a gift to edge providers who want to market personal data. GOP members have introduced at least three bills that would protect consumers without overbearing government involvement – let’s focus our attention on those practical solutions instead.”

Background:

The Save the Internet Act would:

  • Allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set prices, sanction investments and dictate how broadband companies interact with their customers.
  • Lay the groundwork for taxing and overregulating the internet.
  • Require FCC approval for development of new 5G and other innovative technologies, which would discourage, delay or block them altogether.
  • Limit access for rural Americans. Studies show that 80 percent of providers in rural areas incurred additional expenses when complying with the Obama-era net neutrality regulations, which led to delayed or reduced network expansion.
  • Allow big tech corporations like Facebook and Google to undermine American families’ privacy.

###