Senate to Vote on Repealing Changes to Net Neutrality Rules


The resolution targets the FCC's vote in December to repeal its net neutrality rules for internet providers.

The repeal goes into effect on June 11.

Without McCain, who remains at home in Arizona while undergoing treatment for brain cancer, the Senate's 49 Democrats can count on 50 votes thanks to the support of Sen. 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.

That's led some in Congress to support a Congressional Review Act vote to overturn the 2017 measure (the CRA is a quick way to nix newly-passed regulations within 60 legislative days of passage).

"Today, we show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration", said Sen.

But even if the CRA is approved, it is unclear what fate may await the measure in the House. Tune in to the Senate webcast to find out; the vote should happen around 3PM Eastern but as always in government timing is only approximate.

The CRA needs just a simple majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass.

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As for the possibility of the CRA reaching Trump's desk, Markey said last week during a press conference that the "political firestorm" that would be created by killing an effort to save net neutrality could push the president into signing it.

But net neutrality supporters reject the idea that a Republican-controlled Congress could come up with protections as strong as the FCC rules. The rules also prohibited those companies from offering websites and app developers faster, easier access to internet users in exchange for extra fees - a tactic that critics described as digital "fast lanes" that could distort online competition in favor of large, wealthy businesses. "This is the way things were prior to 2015, and how they will be once again". The FCC also repealed the regulatory underpinning for the rules, in which internet service was classified as a common carrier.

The agency's two Democrats at the time, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, voted to keep the rules on the books. In surveys, solid majorities say they support the principle of net neutrality generally, and the FCC's rules in particular. "From the GOP tax scam, to attacks on the Affordable Care Act, to rolling back fuel economy standards, and to net neutrality, the Trump administration has repeatedly ignored the needs of everyday American families". "Will we stand with the American public, who understand why net neutrality is vital, or will we side with those who wish to control how we use the internet?"

If no more Republicans announce support of the CRA before Wednesday the vote would be split 50 to 50, and Vice President Mike Pence would likely break the tie and kill the CRA.

The Internet Association, a trade group backed by Facebook, Uber and others, have said that regulations targeting Silicon Valley on hate speech risks running afoul of the First Amendment.

For their part, most Republicans argue that the net neutrality rules are unnecessary and onerous for broadband providers.