US Senate votes to overturn FCC's repeal of net neutrality protections

Devin Lawrence
May 17, 2018

Not only would the House of Representatives have to vote to undo the FCC's ruling, President Trump would also have to support blocking the new rules. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the lead sponsor told reporters last week during a news conference. "Republicans and Democrats alike should want to provide the small business community with the certainty that the Internet will remain an equal playing field. Our approach will help promote digital opportunity-that is, making high-speed Internet access available to every single American so that they can be participants in, rather than spectators of, our digital economy".

Democrats used the Congressional Review Act to force a vote - a law that allows Congress to repeal agency rules and regulations on a simple majority vote, instead of a 60-vote threshold needed to break procedural hurdles on most legislation, the kinds of traditional roadblocks where Senate leadership could typically hold up such a proposal.

That may be a heavy lift, but Blumenthal reminded the Senate that the issue of net neutrality will likely be decided in court.

A final vote is expected later on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's time for Speaker Ryan to do his job and let us vote in the House", Welch said.

Opponents of net neutrality describe the policy as overly restrictive, and regularly point out that the Internet "grew up" without such rules in place. He went on to argue repealing the FCC rollback before it takes effect in June would stifle innovation.

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Markey described a coalition of Internet voters who bridge the usual philosophical party lines when it comes to government regulation. "This bill will restore a free and open internet, putting businesses, classrooms, and health care just a click away".

The 2015 rules were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to Web content and bar broadband service providers from favoring their own material or others'.

Citing that one in five Louisianans do not have a choice over their internet service provider, Sen. A group of 22 states have sued the FCC over the repeal. "Well, some on the other side of the aisle reached the cynical conclusion that exploiting concern about the internet outweighed the value of working with Republicans to pass net neutrality protections".

"Net neutrality is the free speech issue of our time", said Sen.

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.

AT&T said Wednesday it backs an open internet and "actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users".

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