Technology

House Republican backs bill to reinstate net neutrality rules

A bill that would reinstate the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules has won its first House GOP supporter - who is also one of the most vulnerable Republicans in this fall's midterms.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) announced on Tuesday that he would be signing a discharge petition to bring the Congressional Review Act (CRA) bill up for a floor vote. He also revealed his own bill to codify the principles of net neutrality into law.

"While my bill moves through the Congress, I am taking an 'all of the above' approach by simultaneously signing the discharge petition on the CRA, and introducing my bill," Coffman said in a statement.

Coffman faces a tough reelection race in a district won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up, and Democrats have made noise about seeking to bring out young voters over the issue of net neutrality. 

CRA bills allow Congress, with a simple majority in each chamber and the president's signature, to overturn recent agency actions. The net neutrality CRA bill passed the Senate with three Republican votes earlier this year.

Coffman's new bill, the 21st Century Internet Act, would restore prohibitions on internet service providers blocking, throttling or prioritizing web content, according to a fact sheet put out by his office.

That bill has little chance of advancing in a Republican-controlled Congress. And the CRA bill still needs about two dozen more GOP House members to back the discharge petition to bring it to the floor.

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