United States net neutrality bill gets enough Senate votes to advance

17 May 2018, 01:23 | Myrtle Hill

Senate Democrats push to block net neutrality repeal using Congressional Review Act

Organizers carry away props after a demonstration outside the Federal Communication Commission building in Washington against the end of net neutrality rules on Dec. 14 2017. The Senate voted 52-47 to reverse the FCC ruling and uphold net neutrality. (Ph

"A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price", explains Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a statement on Monday.

So far, all 49 Democratic Senators and one Republican support the resolution to preserve the Obama-era net neutrality rules. They were joined by the two independents who usually vote with them, Sens. Namely, the measure has to go through a Republican majority House and President Donald Trump.

Equally as predictably, Commissioner JESSICA ROSENWORCEL took the opposite position from PAI, with a statement reading "Today the UNITED STATES Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late a year ago".

The net neutrality regulations, imposed on broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast in 2015, banned the industry from blocking or slowing down websites. He believes the issue will energize Democratic voters in the midterm elections and help the party capture seats now held by Republicans.

While Democrats recognize they are unlikely to reverse the FCC's rule, they see the issue as a key policy desire that energizes their base voters, a top priority ahead of the midterm elections.

Thune urged Democrats to work with him on a plan that he said would incorporate the net neutrality principles they desire without onerous regulation that he said made it harder to connect more Americans to the internet and to upgrade service. "Unfortunately, it's only going to delay Senate Democrats from coming to the table and negotiating bipartisan net neutrality legislation".

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Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican who has pledged to support net neutrality.

"Net neutrality" doesn't make for catchy campaign slogans, but there are indicators that voters are clocking this issue.

"At Stonyfield, and at businesses across New Hampshire, we rely on an internet that provides equal access and helps us reach our customers and the farms we source from", said Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. But the group needs one more vote to stop the Senate Republicans from giving corporate telecommunication companies power over the internet in which they would control traffic in order to charge different rates for different access and services. Passage of the resolution by the Senate and the House would offer a chance to void the Republican-controlled FCC's 3-2 vote.

"However, the Democrats" deployment of the CRA may misfire since the law is meant to overturn regulations, not the the repeal of regulations, says Randolph May, president of the Free State Foundation, a free-market think tank.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), who is a co-sponsor of the House CRA, told the Daily Dot late last month that "grass roots activism" could create a scenario where there is a "real shot at getting this thing out of the House". But net neutrality regulations are much more widely opposed by Republicans.



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