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Cole Statement on ‘Democratic Takeover of the Internet’

April 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1644, which would reinstate a 1930s-era regulatory system on the modern Internet. 

“Both sides agree that there are problems related to the issue of net neutrality. I wish we could solve those problems in a bipartisan manner to ensure the Internet remains open and free for the American people,” said Cole. “Unfortunately, the bill passed in the House today would be more accurately named the ‘Democratic Takeover of the Internet’ because of the ill-fitting and dated regulations it would re-impose. I agree with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that we need to prevent damaging practices like throttling, blocking and paid prioritization. But this legislation goes too far, squashing innovation and damaging rural access in the process.”

Cole has signed on as a co-sponsor of three Republican alternatives, which reflect principles and ideas supported previously by Democrats:

  • H.R. 1101, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure internet openness, to prohibit blocking lawful content and non-harmful devices, to prohibit throttling data, to prohibit paid prioritization, to require transparency of network management practices, to provide that broadband shall be considered to be an information service, and to prohibit the Commission or a State commission from relying on section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a grant of authority.
  • H.R. 1006, the Open Internet Act
  • H.R. 1096, the Promoting Internet Freedom Act