Senate Democrats Obtain Enough Support to Force Net Neutrality Vote

Delia Watkins
January 10, 2018

Previously a seldom-used, obscure law, the CRA was used multiple times a year ago to overturn regulations issued in the waning days of the Obama administration.

It's not known exactly what tack that legal challenge will take, but there is a good likelihood of it succeeding if the history of net neutrality regulations is anything to go by.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri announced Monday she will be the 30th co-sponsor of a bill that will use the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC's vote to dismantle the net neutrality rules.

The same day that the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality in a 3-2 vote, Sen. Last June, Mozilla reported that a survey it conducted with Ipsos found that 81% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans support net neutrality principles. The bill says that "No internet service provide engaged int he provision of fixed or mobile broadband Internet access service shall impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, application, or service or use of a non harmful device, subject to reasonable network management". A University of Maryland poll from December 2017 found that more than 83 percent of voters favor keeping the rules, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents. Republicans now hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, meaning two GOP Senators would need to go against the party for the vote to pass.

In short, there are no special rules in the House to guarantee a vote on the CRA resolution.

Ed Markey
Ed Markey Verified account @SenMarkey

Schumer and other Democrats think net neutrality will be a big issue in the 2018 midterm elections.

Markey's bill likely won't restore the net neutrality rules in the end, even if it passes in the Senate. Currently, no Republican legislator has expressed support for the resolution.

He continued: "Regardless of party affiliation, all elected officials should stand with their constituents and restore the 2015 protections that protect free speech, choice, and innovation online".

Meanwhile, a separate effort to overturn the FCC's net-neutrality repeal has been gaining momentum.

The internet companies likely would become involved in a lawsuit threatened by almost half of the Attorneys General of the United States, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. It would also prohibit the FCC from ever attempting to repeal the rules in the future.

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