Rep Tom Garrett must act to restore Net Neutrality before the midterms

Constituents gather inside Rep. Tom Garrett’s (VA-5) Charlottesville office on Sep. 5 to urge the Congressman to sign the CRA discharge petition and restore Net Neutrality.

By Will Temple, Student, Charlottesville, Virginia (5th Congressional District)

Last month a group of Virginia residents and I met with Congressman Tom Garrett’s office to explain how the FCC’s move to rescind net neutrality hurts small businesses and students like myself in Virginia. The FCC’s move has effectively handed control over the Internet to giant cable companies and will do nothing to improve broadband access for rural Virginians.

The Senate has already passed a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution overturning the FCC’s repeal. We asked the Congressman to sign the discharge petition to force a House vote to do the same. Unfortunately, Rep. Garrett’s refusal to sign the CRA petition is to transparently favor Comcast and AT&T at the expense of voters and small business in Virginia.

In the meeting, Rep. Garrett’s staff suggested that legislation is a better solution than regulation. By the time a bill winds its way through Congress, it will have been watered down by the cable lobby and in any case will come too late to prevent the damage that is already being done.

A Congressional vote to overrule the FCC is the only way to ensure that small business and students can continue to use the internet the way it was intended.

The Congressman should sign the CRA petition and voters will remember his decision in November.