Democrats force Senate vote on net neutrality repeal

Emilio Banks
January 9, 2018

This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced the CRA resolution shortly after the FCC's repeal vote last month.

But net neutrality backers have argued that clear rules are needed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling services or websites for competitive reasons, and that the rollback would increase the power of a few dominant providers to control what users see online. But net neutrality proponents say they want Congress to vote on the measure despite the challenges.

Over in Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders hasn't made any official moves just yet, but like Senator Bennet, his position is clear. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overrule any regulation issued by a government agency with a simple majority.

And if that was the end of the process, the resolution might have a chance of getting signed into law.

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"Your proposal threatens to eliminate the FCC's oversight role that has been in place for decades under both Democratic and Republican presidents", said Senator of Colorado, Michael Bennet. John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless vehicle bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.), would use Congress's authority under the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC's rollback of its popular net neutrality rules.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting that the net neutrality rules are widely popular. None of them are Republicans.

But while individual states trying to write their own net neutrality regulations is certainly an interesting topic of discussion, whether they are actually legally entitled to is another matter. All 30 supporters are members of the Democratic caucus.

Amid the harsh criticism of the repeal from consumer groups including Free Press, Pai on Wednesday pulled out of a planned appearance at this week's CES tech industry convention after reportedly receiving death threats. Nebraska, California New York and Washington have all introduced or are considering legislation to ensure that Internet Service Providers comply with net neutrality rules despite the FCC's decision. The Internet Association - whose member companies include Google, Facebook and Netflix - said last week it is prepared to join a legal battle against repealing the rules, which were approved in 2015.

The opposition to the FCC repeal is mobilizing in a big way.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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