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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

FCC Net Neutrality & EPA Cross-border Air Pollution Votes Pending

Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 8, 2011:
This week the House is not in session. The Senate will reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 674, the bipartisan, House-passed bill to repeal a requirement that government contractors have 3% of their payments withheld for taxes. Yesterday, the Senate voted 94-1 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 674.

At 12:15 PM the Senate will vote on the nomination of Evan Wallach to be a Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit; then recess until 2:15 PM  and will  resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 674. 

Later in the week, as the critical deadline approaches for Congress to disapprove of the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, the Senate is expected to consider a resolution of disapproval, S. J. Res. 6. The Senate is also expected to take up a resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s cross-border air pollution rule, S. J. Res. 27.

Yesterday, in abbreviated from addressed the background, rationale and the need for stopping the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Here is an extract from those comments:
On Dec.21, 2010, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to regulate the internet. Seton Motley, president of Less Government called the FCC's action a "worse power grab than ObamaCare." Motley said, "It was done without authority from the People's representatives. In fact, 302 of them (inlcuding more than 80 Democrats) told the FCC not to do it. Then there was the D.C. Circuit Court, which ruled unanimously that the FCC doesn't have the authority. More than 150 organizations, state representatives, and bloggers gave them the anti-Nike "Don't do it." So too did seventeen minority groups (that are usually almost always in Democrat lockstep) and many additional normally Democrat paragons - including several large unions, several racial grievance groups, and an anti-free market environmentalist groups."

In my opinion and the opinion of most Americans, this issue before the Senate is not left verses right (in the traditional sense) or Democrat verses Republican. It is progressive elitist socialism verses the rest of America. Unfortunately, it is within the Democrat Party that this movement is currently operating. But the same dangers could exist in the future with elitists in any political party whom believe they have the need to control the voice of the people.

It is patently obvious that net neutrality will result in reduced access and eventual suppression of freedom of speech. We can ill afford giving up any avenue of free speech which is used by both left and right minded citizens to freely address issues. Free speech is used by Americans to address and even mock actions government officials that walk away from the mainstream of America.

Consider Phil Kerpen's warning, "Once we accept that it's the role of the government to regulate the economics of the Internet and the way traffic is managed on the network, we'll start down a path in which government not only designs and manages but also builds and owns. As taxpayers, we'll pick up the tab of enormous costs of building broadband networks that are regulated so strictly they can't even earn a market return. And the government-owned and -controlled network will almost certainly be subject . . . to pervasive content restrictions."
Only 51 votes are required for passage of the resolution. Which mean we need all Republicans and 4 Democrats. There are 23 Democrat Senate seats up for reelection next year. A few of these folks aren’t running. Many of the rest are from center or center-right states. Additionally, there are a few other Senators that may be subject to Constitutional reasoning and concerned about the expanding takeover of the Internet. Below is a list of some of these Senators. Please contact your Senator and contact the following and tell them to vote Yes on S.J.Res 6:

  • Joe Manchin – West Virginia
    • Phone: 202-224-3954
    • Fax: 202-228-0002
    • Email: Here
  • Mark Pryor – Arkansas
    • Phone: 202-224-2353
    • Fax: 202-228-0908
    • Email: Here
  • Tim Johnson – South Dakota
    • Phone: 202-224-5842
    • Fax: 202-228-5765
    • Email: Here
  • Bill Nelson – Florida
    • Phone: 202-224-5274
    • Fax: 202-228-2183
    • Email: Here
  • Ben Nelson – Nebraska
    • Phone: 202-224-6551
    • Fax: 202-228-0012
    • Email: Here
  • Debbie Stabenow – Michigan
    • Phone: 202-224-4822
    • Fax:
    • Email:Here
  • Jim Webb – Virginia
    • Phone: 202- 224-4024
    • Fax:
    • Email: Here
  • Mark Warner – Virginia
    • Phone: 202-224-2023
    • Fax: 202-224-6295
    • Email: Here

  • Jon Tester – Montana
    • Phone: 202-224-2644
    • Fax: 202-224-8594
    • Email: Here
  • Joe Liebermann – Connecticut
    • Phone: 202-224-4041
    • Fax: 202-224-9750
    • Email: Here
  • Claire McCaskill – Missouri
    • Phone: 202-224-6154
    • Fax: 202-228-6326
    • Email:Here
  • Bob Casey – Pennsylvania
    • Phone: 202-224-6324
    • Fax: 202-228-0604
    • Email: Here
  • Kay Hagan – North Carolina
    • Phone: 202-224-6342
    • Fax: 202-228-2563
    • Email: Here
Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s now been two months since the President came before Congress and outlined his plan for tackling the jobs crisis — a plan that can best be described as a rehash of the same failed policies of the past few years disguised as a bipartisan overture, a political strategy masquerading as a serious legislative proposal. The president put this plan together knowing that Republicans would oppose it. In other words, it was actually designed to fail, as White House aides have readily admitted to reporters for weeks. This was not, I repeat, a serious effort to do something about jobs and the economy. It was a serious effort to help the President’s reelection campaign by making Republicans in Congress look intransigent. So what I’ve been saying for the past few weeks is let’s put the political games aside. We’ll have time for the election later. The American people want us to do something about jobs right now.” And in fact, House Republicans have been doing just that. Leader McConnell pointed out, “While the President has been out on bus tours, Republicans in the House have been debating and passing bipartisan legislation aimed at making it easier for businesses across the country to grow and create jobs. And over the past two weeks, I’ve highlighted some of their good work. Yesterday, I mentioned in particular a bill the House passed just last week called the Small Company Capital Formation Act, or H.R. 1070, a bill that received 421 votes, including 183 Democrat votes. Only one person in the entire 435-member House of Representatives voted against this bill — just one. And President Obama endorsed the idea contained in this bill in his jobs speech to Congress in September. The question is: Why in the world wouldn’t the Democrat majority take it up and pass it here in the Senate?” H.R. 1070 would remove a regulatory barrier that prevents small businesses from going public and improves their access to the capital they need to grow and create jobs. The Senate version has the bipartisan sponsorship of Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Jon Tester (D-MT).  Job creators support the bill, as well. The AP wrote recently, “Companies use the cash they raise to grow — and that means hiring people.” Surely this bill would be a no-brainer for Senate Democrats to take up and pass. As Leader McConnell said to majority Democrats, “Take up this legislation that’s already passed the House with the support of almost everybody over there, and show the American people that you care more about creating jobs than in creating campaign slogans.”

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