House Committee Asks Same Net Neutrality Questions As The 4 Previous Committees

House Committee Asks Same Net Neutrality Questions As The 4 Previous Committees

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was once again called before Congress today. His task: to justify the commission’s vote to protect consumers from the potential, likely harms of monopoly ISPs out to make a buck in any way they can. Or, in other words, to defend the agency’s recent vote on net neutrality. [More]

Bill Seeks (Again) To End Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Bill Seeks (Again) To End Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Antibiotic resistance is a big problem. Farmers know it. Consumer advocates know it. Doctors, the CDC, and the FDA all know it. You know it. And the largest contributor by far to the crisis is the 80% of antibiotics that are used in industrial farming. And Congress is, once again, taking a stab at making agricultural antibiotic abuse against the law before it’s too late. [More]

(Tim Schreier)

Senators Introduce Legislation To Make Private Student Loans Dischargeable In Bankruptcy

Since 2005, student borrowers have been unable to discharge their private student loans through the process of bankruptcy. But that could soon change after a group of 12 senators introduced a bill aimed at addressing the current student debt crisis by restoring the bankruptcy code to hold private student loans in the same regard as other private unsecured debts. [More]

Will Congress Try To Kill The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Will Congress Try To Kill The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Since its creation as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been a target of pro-bank, anti-regulation lawmakers who contend that the agency lacks legislative oversight and puts too much authority in the hands of a single director. With the recent political power shift in the Senate and another presidential election on the horizon, some advocates are concerned that the anti-CFPB movement may take hold on Capitol Hill. [More]

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Everything you do online — on your phone, on your computer, with anything — leaves a digital wake. Put those trails together and you’ve got one massive big data industry that can (and does) track it all and sell it to the highest bidder. After decades of digital detritus building up, regulators and Congress both are contemplating some steps that would help protect consumers’ info. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Lawmakers In House, Senate Investigating Fraudulent Returns Filed With TurboTax

Joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service on the case of bogus tax returns filed used Intuit’s TurboTax software will now be lawmakers from both the House and Senate, who have started probing the recent flurry of fraudulent activity. [More]

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband. [More]

Today In Terrible Arguments Against Net Neutrality: Monopoly Eras And Fees On Bills

Today In Terrible Arguments Against Net Neutrality: Monopoly Eras And Fees On Bills

It’s been a busy day for tech talk in Washington. Today, both the House and the Senate held hearings on net neutrality and a proposed bill to regulate it. A parade of former regulators, lobbyists, business representatives, lawyers, and consumer advocates sat on Capitol Hill and once again hashed through the debate, while elsewhere in the District, a current FCC commissioner was giving a lunchtime speech about why the FCC shouldn’t regulate at all. [More]

Congress Lines Up FCC Commissioners-Turned-Lobbyists For Hearing To Say Why Congress’s Bad Net Neutrality Proposal Is Great

Congress Lines Up FCC Commissioners-Turned-Lobbyists For Hearing To Say Why Congress’s Bad Net Neutrality Proposal Is Great

Depending on your point of view, Congress has been either promising or threatening to come up with a legislative solution to net neutrality, which would do an end-run around the current FCC debate. As of this afternoon, the first draft of the bill is out and the first hearings are on the schedule. So how does it look for fans of an open internet? [More]

(Brad Clinesmith)

Lawmakers Claim Congress Better At FCC’s Job Than FCC Is, Plan To Introduce Net Neutrality Proposal

Large swaths of Congress are not pleased with the FCC’s moves towards regulating net neutrality, and they got even less pleased after the President threw his weight behind Title II and the FCC started to move in that direction. With the FCC set to vote in February, time for Congress to stick its oar in is running out. So now, in addition to the proposed bill that would bar the FCC outright from using Title II, there will soon be proposed new legislation afoot that seeks to do the FCC’s job for it, without letting the FCC in at all. [More]

Consumer Advocates Ask Congress To Please Consider Actually Helping Consumers This Term

Consumer Advocates Ask Congress To Please Consider Actually Helping Consumers This Term

The new month and new year brought with them a new Congress, and with that comes an all-new legislative agenda. Lawmakers get to start over with the process of introducing bills and hopefully passing some laws, and consumer advocates are calling on the President and all the legislators on Capitol Hill to get moving on an agenda to help American consumers. [More]

Pro-ISP Bill To Block FCC From Using Title II For Internet Introduced In Congress

Pro-ISP Bill To Block FCC From Using Title II For Internet Introduced In Congress

Lawmakers have been happy to opine about the net neutrality fight since the old rule got tossed out a year ago. Now that the FCC is not only set to vote on a new proposal next month, but also likely to take the Title II approach in that proposal, the window is closing for Congress to act, and lawmakers are feeling the urgency. And that is how we find ourselves once again with a bill on the floor seeking to remove the FCC’s authority to classify broadband how it sees fit. [More]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

Ohio Senator Proposes Payday Loan Alternative That Allows Consumers To Access Early Tax Credits

For years, lawmakers have tossed around the idea of meaningful payday loan reform, from banning loans with annual percentage rates higher than 36% or looking to close loopholes that allow predatory lenders to claim tribal affiliation. This week, as Congress began its latest session, one lawmaker suggested a payday alternative that doesn’t involve another type of loan at all. [More]

Third Time’s The Charm? House To Take Another Stab At Terrible CISPA Internet Bill

Third Time’s The Charm? House To Take Another Stab At Terrible CISPA Internet Bill

Not unlike a mummy, the reanimated corpse of a bad bill that just doesn’t know when to stay dead is once again coming to the floor of a Congress near you this week. Tomorrow, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act — better known as CISPA — is once again going to be introduced before the House of Representatives. [More]

Medical Marijuana Suddenly A Whole Lot Less Illegal Nationwide

Medical Marijuana Suddenly A Whole Lot Less Illegal Nationwide

Congress passed a massive omnibus government spending bill over the weekend. And while most of the attention is on the fact that lawmakers have managed to avoid the mess of another government shutdown, the 1600-page, $1.1 trillion bill has a lot in it. Particularly of note? After many long years, the federal government has effectively lifted its prohibition on medical marijuana nationwide. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

Bill Would Allow 529 College Savings Plan Investors To Change Investments Twice A Year

With less disposable income and difficulty meeting the ever rising cost of tuition, parents often have a tough time saving for their child’s future education. A law poised to make its way though Congress aims to give parents using certain college savings plans more flexibility in their investments. [More]

(Sapurah Lashari)

Deal To Keep The Government Running Cuts $303M From Pell Grant Program

Congress’ deal to keep the federal government up and running may be coming at the expense of some of the nation’s poorest prospective college students. The spending package is poised to cut $303 million from the Pell Grant program. [More]

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Flying is painful enough as it is. Between arduous lines at security and ever-shrinking legroom, passengers are already plenty on-edge. Adding cell phone chatter to an already-tense high-altitude situation could be a recipe for disaster, and 77 members of Congress agree. [More]