Offbeat Senate Democrats Poised for Small Victory on Net Neutrality

20:26  16 may  2018
20:26  16 may  2018 Source:

Senate votes to save net neutrality rules

  Senate votes to save net neutrality rules The Senate on Wednesday voted to reinstate the FCC's net neutrality rules, passing a bill that has little chance of advancing in the House but offers net neutrality supporters and Democrats a political rallying point for the midterm elections.Democrats were able to force Wednesday's vote using an obscure legislative tool known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA bills allow Congress, with a majority vote in each chamber and the p resident's signature, to overturn recent agency moves.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, discussing net neutrality last week at a news conference on Capitol Hill. Democrats said Tuesday that they needed support from only one more Republican for the Senate to vote to restore net neutrality .CreditTom Brenner/The New York

Still, net neutrality advocates took an early victory lap on Tuesday. In order to force the Senate to debate net neutrality , Democrats only need 30 votes. And they secured more than that — 40 votes — earlier this week, even though that outcome wasn’t exactly in doubt.

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s expected win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality will be cause for mild celebration.

The Senate voted, 52-47, in favor of a motion to proceed to the measure under the expedited rules of the Congressional Review Act, with the chamber expected to pass the resolution mid-afternoon.

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)© Provided by CQ Roll Call, Inc. Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats, led by Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, picked up the support of Sen. Susan Collins. The backing of the Maine Republican was known in advance, but it still underscores just how close the margins are on the Senate floor. Two more Republicans, Louisiana’s John Kennedy and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, voted to proceed to the measure as well.

Senate Dems move to force net neutrality vote

  Senate Dems move to force net neutrality vote Some Democrats foreshadowed pushing to make the internet regulations a campaign issue."I believe that today kicks off the most important day for the internet that the Senate has ever seen," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is spearheading the net neutrality push in the Senate.

That might sound like a major victory for staunch supporters of the open internet. Not exactly. Democrats are one small step closer to net neutrality in the Senate , and many large, potentially insurmountable steps away from actually restoring those rules.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday said they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal Demonstrators, supporting net neutrality , protest a plan by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) The FCC vote in December marked a victory for AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon

Still, with the measure facing certain opposition in the House, it will be little more than a symbolic victory for the Democrats. It could, however, be yet another issue to motivate their voters to head to the polls in November.

That’s the hope of political organizations like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Net Neutrality has the potential to motivate young and progressive voters to turn out in the midterms, and we certainly welcome their support, as well as all privacy- and liberty-loving Americans who recognize that the Republican Party has abandoned these fundamental values,” DCCC spokesman Tyler Law said in a statement ahead of the Senate votes.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has used non-skippable ads to promote the effort, and the push to restore the old net neutrality rules has been a recurring theme in Democratic fundraising material, including pitches in support of some of the vulnerable incumbent Senate Democrats on the ballot in 2018.

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