Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Pelosi Remarks at Bicameral Press Event Announcing Legislation to Restore Net Neutrality Protections

March 6, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for a press event to unveil net neutrality legislation that will keep the internet open and free.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

 Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning everyone.  Thank you for being here, and I especially want to welcome our friends who are so helpful in terms of this issue, in terms of the outside mobilization for free internet.

I’m so pleased to welcome some of our friends over from the Senate, many who started in the Congress of the United States in the House of Representatives: Leader Schumer, Senator Markey, Senator Cantwell and Senator Wyden.  Welcome and thank you for your leadership.

I want to – we will be hearing from some of our Members: Representative Doyle, a leader of this issue and Chairman of the subcommittee of Energy and Commerce that deals with it, net neutrality.  The Chairman of the committee, Frank Pallone – thank you, Mr. Pallone for being here.  Rep. Clarke is the Vice-Chair of the committee, who is here to speak on the subject.  And, I particularly want to acknowledge Anna Eshoo, who has been the godmother of this issue for so many years – when she was Chair, or Ranking Member, of the [subcommittee] that Mr. Doyle now chairs – thank you for your leadership on this.

Again, it’s an honor to be with Members of Congress from both sides of the Capitol to save the internet.  We salute Representative Mike Doyle, Mr. Chairman, for his relentless leadership to protect net neutrality.

We are thrilled to be with so many advocates across the country.  Millions of Americans are organized, mobilized and they made the difference in the fights that we’ve had: Mr. Markey’s CRA in the Senate, last year, but even before that, under Congresswoman Eshoo’s leadership, the issue – to speak out in terms of what the Federal Communications Commission was doing.

Young people, in particular, get it.  This is about your jobs and your future.  So, a free and open internet is a pillar – a pillar of so many things: our democracy, our economic possibilities, entrepreneurship and the rest.  Creating opportunities and empowering communities.

A full 86 percent of Americans oppose the Trump assault on net neutrality, including 82 percent of Republicans.  That’s hopeful.

With the Save The Internet Act, Democrats are honoring the will of the people and restoring the protections that do this: stop unjust discriminatory practices by ISPs that try to throttle the public’s browsing speed, block your internet access and increase your costs. This is about freedom, it’s about cost.

 

Giving entrepreneurs and small businesses a level playing field and ensuring American innovation can continue to be the envy of the world.

This legislation also brings the power of the internet to every corner of the country, from rural America to our cities.

We must close the urban-rural digital divide.  Guaranteeing better, cheaper internet so that we can create jobs and unlock the economic potential for all.  Rural areas, inner cities: for all.

Supporting this bill means supporting our democracy: ensuring that the voices of the public are heard, their will is respected and that the internet remains free and open to all.

We call on our Republican colleagues – and many Republicans in the country support this legislation and have in the United States Senate already – to join in supporting us by restoring net neutrality.

With that, I’m very pleased to – once again, on many occasions I’ve had the honor of welcoming back to the House of Representatives – our former colleague, a source of pride to all of us who served with him, the Democratic Leader of the Senate, Mr. Schumer.

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Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you, Senator Wyden.  I just wonder if your mother’s influence in Anna [Eshoo]’s district encouraged her to run with the right crowd.

[Laughter]

I thank all of our participants here today.  I want to acknowledge that Eliot Engel, we know him as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee but he is also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  Debbie Dingell was just with us until a moment ago.  I think she had to go to the Floor.  Doris Matsui is here of California, a member of the Committee.  Jerry McNerney, a member of the Committee.  I say that with pride, Mr. Chairman, because California has passed net neutrality as well as a privacy bill on the internet as well.

I thank them for their leadership, all of them, for being here and join Chairman Doyle in acknowledging the participating organizations.  The outside mobilization will be essential to the success we have.  Our inside maneuvering is important – what will that be?  Chairman Doyle will be having hearings on this legislation imminently.

Chairman Doyle.  Next week.

Speaker Pelosi.  Following that, a mark-up of the bill and following that a mark-up in full committee under the leadership of Mr. Pallone.  Following that, the bill will come to the Floor.  In a matter of weeks, we will act upon this.

And I thank Senator Cantwell for her kind remarks, but it is about the Democratic Majority that has made the difference.  However, we want this to be as bipartisan as possible because we know it is so in the public view.

Anna has given us some instruction over our shoulders, I don’t know if she wanted to weigh in for a moment.

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Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much to our participants here.  At one stage or another, they will be weighing in and we would just like to remind the Chairman of the FCC to hear the voices of the 24 million people who wrote in in a louder way than he hears the voice of his former employer.

With that, we thank all of you for coming.  Upward and onward.  Thank you to all of the participants for saving the Internet.

I, too, had a visit with Sir Tim yesterday.  Thirty years since he invented the World Wide Web.  I said, ‘How are we doing?’  He said, ‘Well, in the first couple of decades it was really free and open.  Now, we have to make sure it continues to be, not only from ISPs, but also from what the impact of algorithms and the rest to decide what goes forward.’

We want it free, we want it open, we want it democratic and we want it low-cost for everyone.  Thank you, everyone.