COPE: Fix This Bill or Stop It!

Posted on April 28, 2006 - 12:10pm.

The Senate just needs to pass "anything to get us into conference," where the real decisions will be made.
– House telecom subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

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The COPE Bill (The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Bill, HR.5252) was formally introduced May 2nd (download the bill). After many delays, this legislation is still expected to reach a full House vote in June. Please continue to send emails and call your House Representatives and say NO to COPE!

The Stevens Senate Telecom Bill draft (S.2686) was released May 1, read a summary or download the 135 page document. This Bill is suddenly moving fast, the Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled two hearings on May 18th and 25th prior to Committee mark-up in late June. By all accounts this Bill is as bad as COPE in regards to PEG and net neutrality.

The BARTON/COPE Act (The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act) passed last Wednesday (4/26) in the House Commerce Committee by a 42-12 vote. It is now expected the Bill will reach the Full House for a vote in June. We need a better model now! We need our representatives to transform this legislation into something that protects and serves the public interest – or we need them to stop this process until such reason can prevail.

The Commerce Committee defeated amendments that would protect PEG access, prevent redlining and ensure that video providers open their networks to competitors and independent content. Changes made to the bill offer no real protections or enforcement. The future of community communications is at stake.

Take Action Today!
We have revised our email campaign to take into consideration these recent changes. Please take a moment to do the following:

1) Go to our action page to send the electronic letter to your Congress people and Senators. Add your own personal comments too.

2) Print the preview page! This has the phone numbers for your House Representatives at the top - and the letter you're sending.

3) Reach out and touch your House Representatives! Call and ask them how they are voting on the COPE bill. If they support the Bill, tell them you don't support their vote unless they can guarantee that the three provisions in the letter are addressed - that is, really addressed with strong ironclad language. Also, see our scorecard on the Commerce Comittee vote - your Rep may be on that committee.

4) Tell others to do this! We need thousands of emails and phone calls!

( categories: HR.5252 COPE | Senate S.2686 )