Se­nate backs Net neu­tral­ity

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Fung

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.