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Congress passes bill rolling back internet privacy rules

House Republicans passed a bill Tuesday that will allow internet service providers to continue to sell users' browsing habits to advertisers.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill allowing internet service providers to continue to sell users' browsing history to advertisers, clearing the way for President Donald Trump's expected signature.

The legislative move undermines an Obama administration rule from last fall at the Federal Communications Commission that regulated internet companies on the grounds of privacy protections. That rule was to be implemented in December 2017, according to The Washington Post.

Texas members voted with their parties — all Democrats opposed the bill, with Texas Republicans unanimous in their support. A handful of Republicans from elsewhere in the country voted against the legislation, but it was not enough to overcome the ten-vote margin.  

The U.S. Senate passed the same bill last week. Both Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted for the bill, in a party-line vote.

Democrats fought the bill both on the chamber floors and in social media campaigns. 

The lone Texas Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, said just before the Tuesday evening vote that he planned to oppose the measure.

"I'm going to vote no," he told the Tribune. "I didn't agree with what the FCC did totally, but the bill's taking away some of the other privacy protections that all of us who use the internet think we ought to keep."

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