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