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Aijaz Rahi / AP

Republican House leadership told Facebook, Google and Amazon that overly aggressive net neutrality activism could make it harder to work together on other policy issues the firms care about, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. The message was delivered in a meeting the day before dozens of internet companies protested the FCC's plan to unwind net neutrality rules.

Why it matters: Tech companies are walking a fine line in speaking out against Trump administration policies — and net neutrality is particularly sensitive. On one hand, they generally support the rules (even though they are now so big that they don't necessarily need them) and their employees care deeply about the issue. On the other, they are asking Congress for help on touchy issues like consumer privacy and legal liability for content on online platforms that would have major business ramifications.

More details:

  • The staffers told the companies that they want to settle the net neutrality debate with a legislative compromise, according to a Hill source familiar with the meeting.
  • On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pushed his support of the rules, but said the company is "also open to working with members of Congress and anyone else on laws to protect net neutrality" — the first time the company has publicly expressed support for legislation, which is also supported by the major telecom companies.
  • The companies were joined by their trade group, the Internet Association. Staffers from the offices of Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the House Republican Conference were there, and a staffer from the Energy & Commerce Committee.
  • When asked about the meeting, Internet Association spokesman Noah Theran said they remain "committed to working with all stakeholders to protect and preserve strong rules."

The protest: While companies participated in Wednesday's so-called "day of action," their efforts were seen by some Hill allies on the left as the bare minimum. Facebook's Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg posted notes of support on their profiles. Google emailed a list of users who had previously taken action on policy issues, and Amazon put a minimalist message on its homepage.

Go deeper

Biden warned Putin of specific "consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."

Senate leaders sell members on debt limit deal

Sen. Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are urging their respective caucuses to back a deal that would clear a path to raising the debt ceiling.

Driving the news: The agreement, negotiated by the two leaders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), involves Congress passing a law allowing a one-time rule change so the Senate can raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, rather than the 60 typically needed to overcome the filibuster.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

CDC: 60% of U.S. is fully vaccinated

Photo: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sixty percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: This comes as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the U.S. It has been detected in 19 states, and the number is expected to increase, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Tuesday's White House COVID-19 briefing.