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White House Signals Trump Would Veto Democrats’ Net Neutrality Bill

WASHINGTON — As House Democrats prepare to vote on legislation this week to restore the FCC’s net neutrality rules, the White House is indicating that President Donald Trump would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

The bill would restore regulations that prohibit internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or from selling “fast lanes” to give certain sites preferential treatment. The Republican-led FCC repealed many of the net neutrality rules in 2017, setting off a battle in the courts, Congress and a number of state houses over what the rules of the road should be for internet providers.

The Office of Management and Budget issued a statement on Monday opposing the Democratic bill, the Save the Internet Act. The OMB said the legislation “would instead return to the heavy-handed regulatory approach of the previous administration and undo the FCC’s action that restored the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to investigate and take enforcement action against unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive acts or practices committed by broadband providers.”

If the bill clears the House, it faces uncertain prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate. A Trump veto wouldn’t be much of a surprise, as he has promoted his administration’s regulatory rollbacks and tapped Ajit Pai to serve as FCC chairman. He opposed the Obama-era FCC’s adoption of the net neutrality rules in 2015, and championed the repeal of most of the regulations.

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