US Senate Democrats intend to force a vote on net neutrality, attempting to undo the damage done by the Republican FCC to an open Internet and keep the important issue alive going into the 2018 elections. Democratic Senators rallies to highlight the growing momentum for reinstating net neutrality rules. “People are mobilizing across the country to save the free and open Internet,” said Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI).
Last year, the Republican majority FCC eliminated bright-line rules to prevent blocking, throttling, and favoritism on the Internet. In doing so, the regulators eliminated essential safeguards that ensure fair Internet access to all users.
The Senate Democrats intend to use Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC’s most recent Order from eliminating the open Internet rules. To pass, the CRA needs majorities in both congressional houses. But with 50 Senators calling for a CRA, Senate Democrats are one vote away from passing the measure. “We’re going to let everyone know where we stand and they stand,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Another tactic is gaining steam at the state level. State legislators in New York, California, Washington, Massachusetts, and even Republican-controlled Nebraska have indicated they will introduce state-level legislation to preserve a free and open Internet. The proposed legislation in New York, for example, would require the state government, state agencies, and local governments to do business with Internet service providers that adhere to the net neutrality principles of no blocking or throttling. In addition, a coalition of state attorneys general is filing suit against the FCC’s elimination of the rules.
Democrats vow to force vote on net neutrality (Reuters, Jan. 9, 2018)
CWA: FCC vote will damage free and open Internet (Speed Matters, Dec. 14, 2017)
New York tries end-run around FCC preemption with net neutrality bill (Ars Technica, Dec. 20, 2017)
Nebraska Is the First Republican State to Try to Save Net Neutrality (Fortune, Jan. 9, 2018)