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]

GM Admits Some Employees “Didn’t Do Their Jobs” Handling Ignition-Switch Defect

GM Admits Some Employees “Didn’t Do Their Jobs” Handling Ignition-Switch Defect

GM executives will be back in the hot seat on Capitol Hill tomorrow. This time, they’ll be getting a grilling from the Senate Commerce Committee about the ignition switch defect that killed at least 13 people and the decade it took to publicly identify the problem and issue a recall. [More]

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Back in January, at the dawn of the year, we gazed into our not-quite-crystal ball and took a look at some pieces of pending legislation that could help consumers this year. Now, in July, we’re at the halfway point of the year, and so it’s a good time to take a look at those bills and see how the wheels of government have turned in 2014. [More]

GM To Start Process Of Compensating Families Of Ignition Switch Victims In August

GM To Start Process Of Compensating Families Of Ignition Switch Victims In August

General Motors has been promising for weeks that it will come up with some sort of compensation for people who bought any of the car company’s millions of vehicles with defective ignition switches. GM now says the plan is coming together, but don’t hold your breath waiting for specifics. [More]

Proposed Bill Would Require FCC To Forbid Internet Fast Lanes

Proposed Bill Would Require FCC To Forbid Internet Fast Lanes

The FCC is spending the summer considering their Open Internet Rule, the piece of cable company f*ckery with a giant loophole allowing companies to negotiate paid prioritization of their network traffic. Today, Democratic lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would outright ban those fast lanes. [More]

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler on May 20, 2014.

FCC Chair’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rule Not Popular At Congressional Hearing

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the hot seat today in an oversight hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to testify about current issues before his agency, including net neutrality. The overriding theme of the day? Pretty much everyone who spoke hates the rule the FCC narrowly approved for consideration last week — just for different reasons. [More]

Proposed Bill Would Eliminate Automatic Default For Private Student Loans

Proposed Bill Would Eliminate Automatic Default For Private Student Loans

Between finding a job, finding a place to live, paying bills, and generally being an adult for the first time in their lives, many recent college graduates face a slew of challenges. One thing they shouldn’t have to think about is automatically defaulting on a student loan when a co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy. Today, legislators proposed a bill to protect consumers from getting stuck in this trap. [More]

Congress Wants To Restore Glory Days Of Misleading Airfares And Hidden Fees

(Paul Thompson)

Remember what it was like to book air travel way back in ye olden days of three years ago? You’d spot a really excellent online deal on a flight, only to discover at checkout that after the taxes and fees, it was $50 higher than you’d thought. The Dept. of Transportation changed all that in 2012 — but now, a bill rapidly moving through Congress could reverse that change entirely. [More]

Online State Sales Tax Solution Remains Elusive After Congress Declares ‘Fundamental Defects’ In Senate Bill

Online State Sales Tax Solution Remains Elusive After Congress Declares ‘Fundamental Defects’ In Senate Bill

After years of attempts to craft a federal law that would affirm states’ rights to tax online purchases, the issue may still be far from being resolved. The House Judiciary Committee has put the brakes on the Marketplace Fairness Act passed by the Senate in May. [More]

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Net neutrality may be dead since a court overturned it in January, but legislators are trying to resurrect it as quickly as possible. [More]

A Simple Guide For Contacting Your Local Lawmakers (And What To Say To Them)

A Simple Guide For Contacting Your Local Lawmakers (And What To Say To Them)

There are a lot of proposed laws out there, making their way through–or stalling out in–the House and Senate. And a common refrain from concerned parties is for everyone to “Call your representatives about this issue!” But to some people, that’s a daunting task. [More]

Dimmer Switch On Enforcement Unlikely To Darken Lightbulb Efficiency Standards

Dimmer Switch On Enforcement Unlikely To Darken Lightbulb Efficiency Standards

Congress is all set to pass a $1.1 trillion budget this week. The massive spending bill, which has already cleared the House and is likely to pass in the Senate, affects every federal agency there is. Yet in the midst of a trillion-dollar omnibus law that reaches into every aspect of our government, there is controversy. And over what enormous issue might such controversy exist, you might ask? [More]