Quite some time ago now, I sat down at my computer and composed a letter to my Representative in Congress. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV2). I have no clue why I continue to waste my time, as (1) I don’t believe Mr. Amodei ever bothers to read what I write, (2) some staffer who clearly hasn’t read nor understand what I’ve written selects some canned statement that in no way speaks to the concern I’ve taken MY precious time to communicate, and (3) whoever sends the response must believe females are incapable of writing a letter (even though I check the “MS.” box on his email my office webform) because they almost always get my gender wrong (today’s email just used M. as though I must have no gender whatsoever) ….. but then, I digress …..
As I started to say, I took the time to write to Mr. Amodei asking him to support the new FCC rules designed to protect the net neutrality of ordinary consumers of the internet. Those rules are designed to ensure that the relatively few big telecom corporations are not allowed to create fast lanes for their favored few, slow lanes for most others and relatively no lanes whatsoever for even others.
Since I wrote my letter, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, in a 2-to-1 decision from a three-judge panel on June 14, upheld the F.C.C. rules declaring broadband as a utility. Clearly, Rep. Mark Amodei’s staff must not have read that New York Times article announcing the ruling, because today, I got this email from his office which clearly indicates HE thinks the FCC rules of regulatory overreach.
I’d love to be able to “connect” with my Congressman on Facebook or Twitter, but that’s NOT possible as he’s blocked me from being able to follow him on Twitter and block me from commenting on his Facebook content. I guess we’ll have to just disagree yet again, just as we disagree regarding the collection of sales taxes on internet sales. Sales taxes support our local community infrastructure. Failure to have a mechanism in place, to ensure they’re collected on all internet sales, means local merchants are left at competitive disadvantage and our community infrastructure suffers when those taxes aren’t collected and remitted. But that was another letter, on a previous day, where we achieved no meeting of the minds, and Rep. Amodei sided with his corporate benefactors, and not his constituents.
There is, however, hope on the horizon. We have a strong Democratic candidate on the ticket this fall — Chip Evans. He could use our help. I’ve “chipped in” to help Chip become the first Democrat to ever hold the CD2 seat. I certainly hope you’ll do the same so we can bring a progressive candidate to the US House from Nevada’s Congressional District 2.
On April 16, Rep. Amodei voted “AYE” for passage of H.Res 672 dealing with this issue:
Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2666) to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet access service. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Energy and Commerce now printed in the bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. All points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. All points of order against such amendments are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
On 4/15/2016. Rep. Amodei voted “AYE” for passage of HR 2666. While this bill has been passed by the U.S. House, it has not yet been set for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Summary of HR 2666:
No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
(Sec. 2) This bill prohibits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet access service.
(Sec. 3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect the FCC’s authority to: (1) condition receipt of universal service support by a provider of broadband Internet access service on the regulation of the rates charged by such provider for the supported service, or (2) enforce regulations relating to truth-in-billing requirements or paid prioritization.
(Sec. 4) Broadband Internet access service shall not be construed to include data roaming or interconnection for purposes of this Act.