The Senate Will Vote on Whether or Not to Save Net Neutrality

The Senate Will Vote on Whether or Not to Save Net Neutrality

Wednesday's measure is backed by all 47 Senate Democrats, as well as Senator Angus King of Maine and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Independents who caucus with Democrats and rarely vote outside their party lines, and Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and John Kennedy, of Louisiana, for also supporitng his CRA resolution.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said the issue will energize voters in November's congressional elections, when a number of lawmakers in President Donald Trump's Republican Party may be vulnerable. The White House has expressed its support for the FCC's move in December to repeal the net neutrality rules, and Trump has often touted his ability to roll back government regulations.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said without net neutrality, large broadband companies become even more powerful, hindering competition from smaller companies.

The FCC voted 3-2 to roll back numerous existing net neutrality rules, including those prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or throttling of content, or from selling so-called "fast lanes" for speedier access to consumers.

Net neutrality supporters are using a legislative tactic, the Congressional Review Act, that allows lawmakers to block an action taken by a federal agency with a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and the president's approval. "If Congress wants to weigh in on net neutrality, it should not act inaptly, but rather affirmatively to adopt a law clearly embodying the policies and practices it deems appropriate".

Broken down by political party, 89 percent of Democrats opposed the repeal, along with 75 percent of Republicans, suggesting GOP candidates will face a hard choice when it comes to publicly siding with the Trump administration or voters on the issue during what could be a hard midterm season for Republicans.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the solution was for lawmakers to draft net neutrality legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation". Republicans also argue that Democrats are playing on unfounded fears that Internet service providers will jack up costs and anger their consumer base. "Unfortunately, it's only going to delay Senate Democrats from coming to the table and negotiating bipartisan net neutrality legislation".

Advocates of keeping the 2015 open-internet rules have the backing of 50 USA senators, including Republican Susan Collins.

"Net neutrality" doesn't make for catchy campaign slogans, but there are indicators that voters are clocking this issue. "Our approach will help promote digital opportunity-that is, making high-speed Internet access available to every single American so that they can be participants in, rather than spectators of, our digital economy".

More Tech: Net neutrality: The FCC voted to end it.

A similar resolution in the House, authored by Congressman Mike Doyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, has garnered 162 co-sponsors, all Democrats. But net neutrality regulations are much more widely opposed by Republicans.

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