Senate Repeals Attack on Net Neutrality with Help from Cantwell and Murray

US Capitol

Senators passed a resolution Wednesday to keep the Obama-era internet protections with a 52-47 vote. Susan Collins of Maine, John N. Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa A. Murkowski of Alaska. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats-with the aid of three Republicans-voted to restore the Obama Administration's investment-killing Title II approach by discharging the FCC's most recent Net Neutrality decision using the Congressional Review Act.

But their quest to retain the rules may be short-lived.

A similar resolution in the House, authored by Congressman Mike Doyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, has garnered 162 co-sponsors, all Democrats.

Plus, even if this measure does pass through both houses of Congress, it would have to be signed into law by Trump, who has spoken negatively of net neutrality, because of course he has.

Opponents of net neutrality describe the policy as overly restrictive, and regularly point out that the Internet "grew up" without such rules in place. Under the new rules, providers would be allowed to open fast lanes to websites that pay them.

"My hope is that they would expend the same type of energy developing legislation so we can once and for all make the openness of the web less partisan", she said. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

But the Democrats on the FCC board, Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, their counterparts in the Senate, and groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation say Pai's position isn't about increasing innovation or competition.

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"Today is a monumental day", said Sen.

Kennedy, whose vote was closely watched as one of the few Republicans siding with Democrats on the issue, said he was ultimately persuaded to vote yes because more than 1 in 5 Louisianans lack choice in their broadband provider. Its repeal this year was seen largely as a giveaway to big telcos and cable companies by the FCC, whose chairman Ajit Pai is former Verizon lawyer. A 2016 open internet order codified those regulations, but a Republican-led FCC did away with the rules back in December. In their place are requirements that companies disclose how they handle data flows.

A resolution from Sen.

"86 percent of Americans support net neutrality and oppose the FCC's repeal of the 2015 net neutrality protections", Trendacosta said, citing a University of Maryland poll taken shortly after the FCC launched the reversal.

The House, however, has a much higher threshold.

Members of the Sunlight Foundation, Electronic Freedom Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations also tweeted in support of net neutrality following the vote, and urged the House of Representatives to follow suit.

Thune noted that he was "more than willing to enter into a debate to flawless this piece of legislation" rather than "waste more time, valuable time, in a cloud of uncertainty where one FCC to the next continues to change the rules".

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