Senate backs Net neutrality
The resolution aims to undo a sweeping act of deregulation undertaken last year by the Federal Communications Commission, but House might not follow.
In a rebuke to the Trump administration, the Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that aims to undo a sweeping act of deregulation undertaken last year by the Federal Communications Commission.
The resolution targets the FCC’s vote in December to repeal its net neutrality rules for internet providers. If successful, the legislative gambit could restore the agency’s regulations and hand a victory to tech companies, activists and consumer advocacy groups.
The congressional effort comes less than a month before the rules are officially expected to expire, on June 11. And the high-profile vote could shine a spotlight on lawmakers running for reelection during a tough midterm season.
“The Senate vote, on the eve of midterms, could have significant political effects,” said Marc Martin, a telecom lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington. But, he cautioned, it remains unclear how many voters will be motivated by net neutrality to go to the polls.
Senate supporters of the FCC rules put forward the legislation under the Congressional Review Act, a law that permits Congress to revisit — and reject — decisions by administrative agencies within a certain window of their approval. The resolution, or CRA for short, passed with the backing of all 49 Democratic senators and three Republicans: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
“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,” Sen. Edward Markey, DMass., who is leading the CRA effort, said on the Senate floor Wednesday.