US Senate to vote on overturning FCC net neutrality plans

U.S. Capitol Building at dusk. Image by Shutterstock

U.S. Capitol Building at dusk. Image by Shutterstock

Past year the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

"Today we are officially filing the discharge petition to force a vote on my Congressional Review Act resolution that would put strong net neutrality rules back on the books", Sen.

Senate Democrats are making a final push to gather support needed for U.S. Sen.

For the unaware, net neutrality is a term that refers to a set of federal regulations implemented in 2015 that prevented internet service providers from throttling, blocking or otherwise prioritizing one type of internet traffic over another. There it would need a simple majority.

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"There are a number of Republican senators who have shown an openness to potentially voting yes, and I know those Republican senators will take notice of all the constituent calls and emails they will receive today and in the coming days", Markey said.

On Wednesday, the group of senators, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen.

Other Republicans and conservative activists who oppose the net neutrality regulations as heavy-handed government oversight have branded the effort a political stunt. With the support of all Democrats, two independents and one Republican (Susan Collins of Maine), they might succeed. With the prolonged absence of Senator John McCain due to illness, proponents believe they will win on a 50-49 vote.

The Senate vote is expected next week and must be held by June 12 due to a time limit triggered by the publication of the FCC's new rule in the Federal Register. But for the resolution to pass entirely, a majority would still be needed in the House - where it faces steeping opposition - and President Donald Trump would have to sign in.

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Meanwhile, slightly smaller sites such as Reddit, Tinder, OKCupid, Pornhub, Etsy, Tumblr, GitHub, Postmates, Pornhub, Vimeo, Foursquare, Twilio, Private Internet Access, Mozilla, Imgur, Fark, BoingBoing, Match.com, and Gandi.net have offered to participate in the campaign.

Supporters of net neutrality aren't going away without a fight.

But while Democrats have complained that those resolutions lifted restraints on business, Markey said his use of the CRA will do the opposite. Lawmakers are using the Congressional Review Act to make the vote happen, and right now it looks like the Senate is just one vote short of bringing net neutrality back to life.

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