California Rep. Ro Khanna has become an aggressive critic of the Trump-era FCC. Photo: Ben Margot / AP

Rep. Ro Khanna — a Democrat who represents parts of Silicon Valley — defended a controversial statement he made in a conversation with his local paper last week that pointed to Portugal as an example of what happens when regulations don't protect net neutrality.

What he's saying:

  • Backers of the repeal of U.S. net neutrality rules note that Portugal is subject to Europe-wide rules. But Khanna says they're too weak on "zero rating" programs that let internet customers view certain content without counting against their monthly data caps.
  • "The strongest form would be net neutrality with a significant ban on zero rating. Right below that is what FCC Chair Wheeler did under the Obama administration: net neutrality with a case-by-case review of zero rating by the FCC," he told the San Jose Mercury News.

Reality check: Republicans at the FCC are already set on repealing the Obama-era rules this month. There's zero political support on Capitol Hill to enact something even tougher.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.

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