Feb 7, 2017

Net neutrality supporters promise "political firestorm"

Stacie Isabella Turk / Ribbonhead via Free Press

Efforts to dismantle the FCC's net neutrality rules are going to meet fierce pushback from progressive organizations that, two years ago, mobilized an aggressive campaign to help get the rules in place. At a press conference today, Democratic senators and their consumer group allies reinforced that stance:

  • Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey promised that opponents of the regulations would trigger a grassroots "political firestorm" if they tried to "substantially change" the rules.
  • The senators (including Al Franken, Ron Wyden, Patrick Leahy and Richard Blumenthal) promised they would fight efforts to reverse the rules, both at the FCC and in Congress.

Watch this point: One way to resolve this debate would be bipartisan legislation protecting net neutrality. But Republicans have floated a bill that would also stop the FCC from treating broadband like a utility. Markey seemed skeptical of that solution. "So if there are any discussions which are taking place, it has to reflect the fact that we right now have a very strong regime that is there," he said. "And I have yet to hear of any proposal which would substitute for that type of system being left in place."

Taking a step back: Progressive defenders of the rules are one part of a much larger debate. Some Democrats might be more willing to make a deal. Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate's Commerce Committee, said in a statement that he's still open to a deal but that it isn't "going to happen overnight."

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief — and televised coronavirus briefings that feature President Trump himself — present a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.