Senate Dems Have 50 Votes To Override FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

W. Davis

Democrats looking to override the Federal Communications Commission's December 14 decision to repeal net neutrality rules say that they have locked down 50 votes in the Senate.

As of Friday, California, Washington, New York, Rhode Island, Nebraska and MA had introduced net neutrality, with North Carolina and IL considering similar legislation. As of now, the resolution has support of all 49 Democratic senators along with the support of one Republican: Susan Collins of Maine. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would restore the 2015 net neutrality rules repealed by a 3-2 Federal Communications Commission vote. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said that the FCC's repeal of net neutrality was "arbitrary and capricious" and violates federal law. "The FCC's unlawful rollback of net neutrality protections could allow internet service providers to block or limit access to certain websites, limit quality and speeds for streaming or video services, censor viewpoints or voices they may not like, or even charge websites and online retailers for priority access". The Senate said its resolution of disapproval through the Congressional Review Act had 50 signatures-just one vote shy of passing it.

"It is time for the Internet, once again, to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers rather than lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in remarks before the vote.

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But Democrats still need one more Republican to get past Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote, and it's not clear who that would be.

"The free and open internet has become a backbone to the way our people, our business and our society work, learn and live", Denn said in a release announcing Delaware's involvement.

"There is a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support to overturn the FCC's partisan and misguided decision on net neutrality", Markey said in a statement. Critics of that move say net neutrality rules are necessary to prevent carriers from discriminating against competitors and small companies that can't afford high fees for fast-lane service.

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