US Congress seizes net neutrality, stuffs it into a bipartisan black hole

Once the FCC rule is delivered to Congress, the Senate will likely move within a couple of months to vote, and net neutrality supporters in the House will scramble to organize a majority. But under the regular rules of the House, there is a mechanism allowing the discharge of a bill from committee along similar procedural lines as the CRA allows in the Senate.

The effort to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of its net-neutrality rules just crossed an important threshold.

Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) announced that 30 senators have signed on to efforts to overturn the FCC's decision through a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The FCC order grants internet providers sweeping new powers to block, throttle or discriminate among internet content, but requires public disclosure of those practices.

Democrats face an uphill battle to win the bipartisan support necessary for the bill's success, however. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party. If passed, the bill would overturn the FCC's rollback of net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act - the same legislative policy Republicans used to roll back Obama-era regulations past year.

Ed Markey
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Republicans control the Senate with 51 votes out of the 100-member body. If it should happen to pass both chambers, Republican President Donald Trump, the man who appointed a longtime foe of net neutrality to head the FCC, would likely veto any resolution.

Schumer and other Democrats think net neutrality will be a big issue in the 2018 midterm elections.

"People have logged more than a million calls to Congress to reject FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's decision to kill Net Neutrality on December 14".

Democratic Senator Ed Markey said on Tuesday he had 39 co-sponsors to force a vote, but it is not clear when the vote will occur since the new rules will not take effect for at least another three months. "Regardless of party affiliation, all elected officials should stand with their constituents and restore the 2015 protections that protect free speech, choice and innovation online".

This specific resolution, which would overturn the Federal Communications Commission's unpopular December 14 decision to destroy Net Neutrality, will be introduced after the agency delivers the final rules to Congress in the coming weeks.

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  • Toni Ryan