Generally speaking, Republicans support business and a small government, while Democrats support the rights of the individuals and are committed to doing what the individual cannot do alone. Donald Trump’s Republican appointments and Congress blew the internet apart for individuals and helped raise profits for already bloated large corporations in December, but Democrats may have a solution.
Trump appointed Ajit Pai to chair the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since Republicans have the majority in Congress and the presidency, there are three Republicans on the FCC and only two Democrats. That meant Republicans could do away with a rule that banned internet providers, the ones people pay every month for access to the internet (ISPs), from taking advantage of users.
Republicans claimed the rules were too restrictive for the providers. Democrats claimed the rule for internet neutrality are vital for protecting consumers, which is basically the definition of net neutrality. In December, the FCC led by Pai killed off the rule. That gave the huge internet providers the opportunity to limit what people could see on the internet and how fast they could access that information.
Big corporations, even international ones, can afford to pay the internet providers fees for faster and unlimited service. Without net neutrality, small businesses and individuals suffer.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is one of the Democrats leading the effort to overturn Pai’s decision, The Washington Post reported:
‘With full caucus support. It’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the Internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options.’
Schumer said that Democrats have the 50 votes they need to overturn the Republicans’ rule. According to the Washington Post:
‘Fifty senators have endorsed a legislative measure to override the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to deregulate the broadband industry, top Democrats said Monday. The tally leaves supporters just one Republican vote shy of the 51 required to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval, in a legislative gambit aimed at restoring the agency’s net neutrality rules.’
Democrats plan to not only overturn the FCC decision but prevent the agency from interfering with the internet again. The resolution has the support of all of the Democrats, 49, and Republican Sen. Susan Collins from Maine.
The FCC controls the internet now, because it controls the air waves, such as airplane radios and radio stations. Some argue that the internet is more of a utility now and should be moved from the volatile FCC panel control.
The only flaw in the Democrats’ plan is that Donald Trump has to sign their law into effect. Therefore, this is just the first step in their midterm campaign to win the majority.
Individuals protested Pai’s position both online and offline by posting signs near his home. He said:
‘I understand that people are passionate about policy, but the one thing in America that should remain sacred is that families, wives and kids, should remain out of it. And stop harassing us at our homes.’
Government rules require the FCC to allow people to post their support for or arguments against net neutrality. Over 23 million people responded. Unfortunately, the media discovered millions of the anti-net neutrality comments were from dead people and hacked profiles.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Win McNamee.