Repeal, or get replaced.
That’s the message a broad group of internet activists wants to send to lawmakers as they fight to reinstate net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission overturned in a contentious vote last month.
On Wednesday, the group Fight for the Future launched an all-out campaign urging Congress to reverse the FCC ruling via the Congressional Review Act, or face a drubbing in November’s elections.
Their leverage? Informed voters, and the deep unpopularity of the FCC’s decision that would allow internet providers to discriminate or charge more for some data. A full 83 percent of Americans disapprove of the net neutrality repeal, including three out of four Republicans.
Just before Election Day, Fight for the Future will send text messages to voters who sign up to receive them, informing them of their representatives’ action ― or inaction, as it may be ― to overturn the ruling.
The text messages will look something like this:
Those who sign up are also encouraged to write to lawmakers.
“Dear Congress,” the suggested language reads, “Unless you vote for a CRA to overturn the FCC net neutrality vote, I will not vote for you. I have given my phone number to Fight for the Future, who will text me your voting record on the eve of your next election.”
Under the Congressional Review Act, the FCC decision can be overturned by a simple majority vote in both houses of Congress. Congress only has 60 days to act after the FCC submits a report to the House and Senate outlining its proposed rule change.
“Any lawmaker that ignores the overwhelming consensus among tech experts and this level of public outcry doesn’t deserve to be in office.”
According to Fight for the Future, 29 senators so far have said they would vote to overturn the FCC ruling via the Congressional Review Act.
In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of the 535 voting members of Congress, and how much money the telecom industry has contributed to each of them since 1989 ― a total of $101 million.
“News outlets keep asking whether net neutrality will be an election issue in 2018,” Evan Greer, Fight for the Future campaign director, told HuffPost in an emailed statement. “We are going to make it one.”
“The public has spoken and voters are demanding that their lawmakers do their jobs and defend net neutrality,” Greer added. “Any lawmaker that ignores the overwhelming consensus among tech experts and this level of public outcry doesn’t deserve to be in office.”