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Mr. McNERNEY. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 1644.
One of the greatest aspects of the internet is its potential to be an equalizer for small businesses that might not otherwise have resources to set up a brick-and-mortar shop. The internet provides them with the means to reach customers around the world. For students who want to learn how to code but whose schools can't afford such classes, the internet opens the door for them. And for veterans who would otherwise have to drive hours to receive healthcare services, the internet gives them the ability to consult with their doctors wherever they are.
All of this is only possible if internet access is unfiltered, and that is not the case today. Today, we don't even have a free and open internet because Trump's FCC has repealed net neutrality protections and set our country on a path backwards.
More than 8,000 of my constituents have written to me and called to express their opposition to elimination of these protections.
I also held a net neutrality townhall, where people came from all over my district. They were of different ages, occupations, and backgrounds, but they all had something in common: They overwhelmingly wanted strong net neutrality protections.
I have listened to my constituents, and that is why I am fighting hard to restore these crucial protections, and that is why I became an original cosponsor of the Save the Internet Act.
We have an opportunity today to pass legislation that would offer real protections for constituents. This legislation is simple. It takes an approach that accounts for the internet of today and tomorrow, and it provides certainty for Americans across the country.
This act will curb monopolistic behavior that would gradually strangle the internet. I am afraid of corporate takeover of the internet.
My friend, the minority whip, spoke about how the Telecom Act of 1934 was passed to curb the monopolies of the large telephone corporations. Today, the situation is similar. The ISPs are large, and they are consolidating with content providers, a ripe situation for monopoly.
Americans hate monopolies.
Madam Chair, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.R. 1644.
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