Public Knowledge Urges Congress to Block Anti-consumer Bills Targeting Digital Rights

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Today, Public Knowledge joins six public interest groups in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) urging Congress to oppose three bills targeting consumer protections in the digital age.

The bills, H.R. 21 (Midnight Rules Relief Act), H.R. 26 (Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act) and H.R. 5 (Regulatory Accountability Act), would upend longstanding and fundamental structures of federal administrative law. Taken together, they would broadly paralyze multiple expert agencies’ ability to enforce the law, which is especially dangerous in the media and communications sector. Such changes could increase prices, undermine citizens’ health and safety, and even endanger the nation’s communications network.

The following can be attributed to Kate Forscey, Government Affairs Associate Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge is pleased to unite with our allies to urge the nation's elected leaders to block a trio of bills that threaten fundamental consumer protections and public safeguards in an increasingly connected world. Any one of these bills would take a hatchet to essential Federal agencies’ abilities to craft strong consumer protections, ensure the reliability of communications during emergencies, and fulfill their Congressional mandate to protect the public interest.

“All Americans rely on modern communications technologies in their day-to day lives and deserve ready and able watchdogs to protect us from corporate abuses like sneaky fees and unexpected data overages, as well as ensuring privacy protections and the reliability of the network, especially in emergencies. These bills would strip consumers of important safeguards that go unnoticed precisely because they have been so effective in protecting people for generations. In a world of ever-increasing consolidation of media power in the hands of two or three companies, these safeguards remain essential to the continued functioning of our democracy and society.

“These legislative efforts are also the latest entry in a broader assault on the critical functions of our nation as a whole. These three bills benefit incumbent corporations and moneyed interests at the expense of the safety, financial security, and well-being of all Americans. Our elected representatives must block them at all cost.”

You may view the letter here.

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