Net neutrality bill clears procedural hurdle in Senate

Katie Ramirez
May 16, 2018

Net neutrality may very well be an issue constituencies care about, or at least that's what Democratic challengers are hoping for.

In what's being called "the most important vote for the internet in the history of the Senate", advocates, such as the organization Fight for the Future, and supporters of net neutrality are "sounding the alarm" and asking constituents to get involved by contacting their senators regarding this issue.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says all 49 Democratic caucus members will vote for the measure, along with Sen. "On June 11, we will have a framework in place that encourages innovation and investment in our nation's networks so that all Americans, no matter where they live, can have access to better, cheaper, and faster Internet access and the jobs, opportunities, and platform for free expression that it provides", said FCC Chairman AjitPai in a recent statement.

Markey noted that his resolution has garnered support from all 47 chamber Democrats, independent U.S. Sens. With Democrats one vote shy of the needed simple majority, a petition is circling on change.org urging eight senators, including Republican senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, an outspoken critic of President Trump who isn't seeking reelection in this year's midterms, to join his colleagues in voting against the FCC's decision.

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The senator, who has offered a formal resolution to restore net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act - which allows lawmakers to reverse federal agencies' regulatory actions - said Democrats have successfully placed the measure on the chamber's legislative calendar, setting the stage for a Senate vote on Wednesday. "Susan Collins (R-Maine) to vote in favor", Common Dreams reported. The CRA resolution would nullify the FCC's December 2017 vote. Susan Collins of ME, is expected to pass in the Senate but its future in the GOP-led House is doubtful and President Donald Trump is unlikely to back it. The company voiced concerns over the FCC's decision to end "net neutrality" rules. "The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses". They reportedly sought to address legal ambiguity caused by previous open internet regulations, which were struck down by courts.

Congress passes a law that reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II "telecommunication service" or protects net neutrality in another way.

Democrats argue the new FCC rules give too much power to Internet service providers, which they fear will throttle down speeds for some websites and services while ramping it up for others who pay more.

"That fundamental equality of access is what has made the internet so dynamic", he said on the Senate floor. "This is the way things were prior to 2015, and how they will be once again".

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