House Committee Vote Results: The Momentum Shifts in Our Favor
by Matt Stoller, Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:37:07 PM EDT
Ok, so the vote on the Markey amendment to protect the internet has happened, and it was voted down, 34-22. That is a big deal. It's too bad we lost the vote, but we expected that loss. What we did not expected was the narrow margin. By way of comparison, the subcommittee vote was 23-8, which means we should have gotten blown out of the water. We did not. All four targeted Dems by McJoan on Daily Kos flipped to our side, and many of the Congressmen both for and against this campaign mentioned the blogs and angry constituents.
There's a white hot firestorm on the issue on Capitol Hill. No one wants to see the telcos make a radical change to the internet and screw this medium up, except, well, the telcos. And now members of Congress are listening to us. The telcos have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and many years lobbying for their position; we launched four days ago, and have closed a lot of ground. Over the next few months, as the public wakes up, we'll close the rest of it.
I watched the markup and the voting, and there was noticeable defensiveness among Congressmen on the wrong side of this. They are wrong, they know it, and they are ashamed. Now they know people are watching. So we didn't win this vote, but this close margin was nonetheless a smack to the jaw of the insiders, and a clear victory for the people. Now the battle moves out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and onto more favorable terrain.
As Sean-Paul said to me over email, "today was a victory as a few key players on the full committee changed their votes. Important action is required heading into the Senate but we have created significant momentum and the telco cartel is very afraid of us now.
This is not how they wanted it to go down. They wanted this amendment to fail quietly, so the Senate would not take it up. We changed the rules today. Great work."