Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Senate To Vote On Net Neutrality Today

Senate To Vote On Net Neutrality Today

Democrats in the U-S Senate are forcing a vote this week to undo the Trump Administration's repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules, less than a month before that repeal is to go into effect. Or will they stick to the party and leave it to be decided by a tie-breaker vote nearly certain to go in their favor?

The Congressional Review Act resolution to restore net neutrality rules, which were reversed by the FCC a year ago, will be brought to the Senate floor on Wednesday.

So far, all 49 Democratic Senators and one Republican support the resolution to preserve the Obama-era net neutrality rules. Susan Collins of ME, is set to pass the Senate and then be sent to the GOP-led House, where it'll likely go nowhere - and President Donald Trump is unlikely to back it.

"A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price", Schumer said.

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Sen. Ed Markey, who is now leading of the effort to save Net Neutrality, stated that the possibility of President Trump blocking the movement if it passes the necessary votes would create a "political firestorm", however the controversial world leader hasn't shied from such backlash in the past.

The resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said lawmakers in that chamber are focused on designing their own legislation to "permanently address this issue", casting doubt on whether the Senate resolution can advance.

The resolution is likely to be vetoed if it reaches the president's desk. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) are now on the fence, due to concerns over "retribution from Comcast's and Verizon's army of lobbyists", according to the net neutrality advocacy group Fight for the Future.

That the agency overturned its rules was no surprise.

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The FCC's new anti-net-neutrality regulation, set to take effect next month, eliminates those prohibitions. However, he did so despite widespread support for the rules; a survey taken around the time of the FCC's December vote showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans supported keeping them in place, including most Republican voters.

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'.

Net neutrality, which forces private companies to provide equal access to the Internet, is expected to be a major campaign issue Democrats will use in the 2018 midterm elections, not least for its importance to young people. A group of 22 states led by NY and others have sued the FCC over the repeal. The latest version of the agency's rules, from 2015, barred internet service providers from blocking, slowing, or giving preferential treatment to particular online sites or services.

"It is essential that rules be reinstated through any means necessary, including the CRA, courts, or bipartisan legislation", the group said in a statement.

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