Online Freedom of Speech rejected by House

Last night, the House of Representatives voted 225 - 182 in support of HR 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. The bill failed because of House rules requiring a 2/3 majority to pass. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) issued this statement:
"Today’s action marks a sad day for one of our nation’s most sacred rights: freedom of speech. The federal government seeks to control and regulate the Internet, but the last thing this Congress should be doing is trying to stifle public debate online. This bill would have kept the hands of the federal government off of Internet speech and protected the online debate that’s underway. Our world has evolved and grown more technologically savvy. Lawmakers need to adjust to these changes. Unfortunately, opponents of online speech have decided to punish our changing technological world. It’s especially unfortunate that Democratic Leader Pelosi voted no to free speech. This bill will come back under regular order, and I encourage all those who support free speech on the Internet to make their voices heard."
When the Congress passed campaign finance reform legislation in 2002, it did not specifically address the Internet. Recently, a federal court mandate the Federal Election Commission to draw up rules to govern the use of the Internet for political purposes. Defenders of the Online Freedom of Speech Act argue that restoring the exemption of Internet speech will not open loopholes in campaign finance laws because Internet communications (namely in the form of blogging) make negligible expenditures in real dollars.

Blogging has begun to return democracy to the people, removing it from the lucre-filled hands of PACs and billionaires like George Soros. This was the very intention of campaign finance reform, and free speech on the Internet must be protected.

Contact your Representatives and encourage them to support HR 1606 when it is brought forward again for a vote in the House.

UPDATE: has some clarification of the bil from Michael Toner, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Election Commission.