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Bill Flores Discusses This Week in Washington

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2019 | Andre Castro (202-225-6105) | comments

U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas) issued the following statements regarding his vote on H.R. 1644 – the Save the Internet Act, and on the House Democrat Majority’s first 100 days of the 116th Congress. Congressman Flores also paid special tribute to the 2019 National Champion Baylor University Lady Bears Basketball Team on the House floor. 

Attempted Government Takeover of the Internet
"The title of the Save the Internet Act is exceptionally disingenuous; a more appropriate name would be the ‘Big Government Takeover of the Internet Act’. For two decades, through both Democrat and Republican administrations and Congresses, the federal government has used a ‘light touch’ approach which has allowed the internet to thrive and to positively transform the American economy for the 21st century. In 2015, however, the Obama administration attempted to use the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the rules by classifying internet services as telecommunications under Title II of the Federal Communications Act. In other words, the FCC was trying to improperly apply 1930’s era legislation for ‘Ma Bell’ telephone services to 21st century technologies. Fortunately, in 2017, the Trump administration reversed the Obama-era rules and restored the successful internet regulatory structure that existed prior to 2015.

"The bill attempts to reinstate the FCC’s 2015 order by reapplying Title II to internet services. Under Title II, federal bureaucrats would have broad jurisdiction over the internet to set prices, levy new taxes and fees, control content and interfere with capital investments. If this bill were to become law, which it will not, it would stifle innovation, limit broadband access for our rural communities, enable new taxes and fees for internet services and slow down the roll-out of 5G services. I voted against the bill for these reasons.

"During consideration of the bill, the position of Democrats regarding internet taxation became pretty clear – they are not opposed to the imposition of taxes or fees on internet services. During the mark-up of the bill in the Energy & Commerce Committee, I introduced an amendment to prevent taxes or fees on the internet.  Unfortunately, the Democrats voted down this amendment along party lines. When the bill came to the House floor for final passage this week, Republicans again introduced a motion to prevent taxes on the internet. Again, Democrats voted down this protection for American internet users.

"The internet is the economic backbone of our nation. It plays an essential role in our everyday lives from education to economic growth and job creation. As such, it is vital that we preserve a free and open internet. While there are certain internet protections that Congress needs to address in the areas of blocking, throttling and paid-prioritization, there are several ‘light touch’ bipartisan solutions that would effectively address these concerns.  Looking farther forward, Congress should also work together on a bipartisan basis to modernize internet privacy and to address the issues arising from internet monopolies and/or near-monopolies like Facebook, Twitter and Google."

100 Days
"Today marks the 100th day of the current 116th Congress. Over this period, Congress should have been working on bipartisan solutions to address real-world issues for hardworking American families.  During the 115th Congress, from 2017 to 2018, President Trump signed over 420 bills into law, over 98 percent of which were bipartisan. Unfortunately, that is not happening in the Democrat-controlled House. About 60 percent of House votes have been ‘suspension’ type votes to name post-offices, while about 20 percent of all House floor votes have been devoted to non-binding resolutions that seek to discredit alternative points of view, drive partisan wedges and attack President Trump. In addition, House committees are wasting far too many resources and time on investigations of the Trump administration. The pending release of the Mueller report should serve as a catalyst to get House committees back to work on things that make America more prosperous and more secure.

"These activities are a waste legislative energy that could have been spent dealing with the important issues facing our nation such as border security, immigration reform, infrastructure, health care, economic security and energy dominance. Rather than continuing to take show votes and conduct baseless investigations, it is time that the House gets back to working on improving economic opportunities for hardworking American families and to protect recent gains in America’s promise, prosperity and security."

Congratulating the National Champion Baylor University Lady Bears Basketball Team
Congratulations to the Baylor University Lady Bears Basketball Team on winning the 2019 NCAA National Championship. We are extremely proud of Coach Mulkey, the team and the entire university for bringing back another national title to Baylor Nation.

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Connect with Congressman Flores on Facebook

I wholeheartedly commend Dr. McKown for her commitment to higher education and serving Central Texas. We are grateful for the work she does on behalf of McLennan Community College and its students. Her leadership was influential as I worked to develop a thoughtful position on how to approach solutions for our Dreamer population. It is an honor to represent great leaders like Dr. McKown in Congress. I congratulate her on this significant milestone and wish her continued success.

Connect with Congressman Flores on Twitter

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