Restoration of net neutrality rules hits key milestone in Senate

Leigh Mccormick
January 9, 2018

The Internet Association, an industry group that represents the US's largest technology companies, and whose mission is to foster innovation, promote economic growth, and empower people through the free and open Internet, plans to join upcoming legal action against the Federal Communications Commission over its repeal of so-called net neutrality rules. Given that Republicans have nearly unanimously supported the FCC's new rules, the prospects for the CRA are dim.

John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless auto bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.), would use Congress's authority under the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC's rollback of its popular net neutrality rules.

That number is important, because it's the exact number of senators that would be needed to essentially force a vote on the the FCC's move.

With the 30 votes, the CRA resolution will receive a full vote in the Senate.

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Last month, the FCC voted along party lines to eliminate its 2015 net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality is the principle that all online traffic should be treated equally.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats turn on Al Franken Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Mo.) announced her support for the bill on Twitter, putting it over the top of a procedural requirement to bypass committee approval. The sponsors for the resolution include 29 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with the Democrats. Previously a seldom used, obscure law, the CRA was used multiple times by Congress past year to overturn regulations issued in the waning days of the Obama administration. Nebraska, California New York and Washington have all introduced or are considering legislation to ensure that Internet Service Providers comply with net neutrality rules despite the FCC's decision.

Still, Free Press and others are pushing forward, noting that the net neutrality rules are widely popular. None of them are Republicans. Even if the bill passes both the Senate and House, President Trump is likely to issue a veto in order to let the FCC's net neutrality repeal go forward. "We had to carry the water when we were growing up and we were small", Hastings said, "and now other companies need to be on that leading edge", stating also that "where net neutrality is really important is the Netflix of 10 years ago".

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