The following is an excerpt from APRIL GLASER | May 16, 2018 | Slate.com |
Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission, network neutrality protections are about to be dead. But how dead is still an open question.
On Wednesday, after Democrats forced a vote, the Senate narrowly passed a resolution that would restore the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which prohibited internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from blocking or throttling access to websites, making websites pay a fee to access users at faster speeds, or partitioning off parts of the internet from some users. In December, the FCC voted to rescind those rules, this despite millions of comments from the public, the vast majority of which were in favor of upholding the internet protections.
Every Senate Democrat, along with three Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution, which is used to overturn or eliminate an agency’s action. This type of measure is something congressional Republicans are quite familiar with. Since Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Congress has worked to reverse more than a dozen regulatory actions—but those were rules passed under President Obama. To enact one of these resolutions, a simple majority is required in both the Senate and the House, followed by the president’s signature. Now that this resolution has cleared the Senate it heads to the House, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 236-193, meaning at least 20 Republicans would have to get on board if every Democrat voted in favor. It’s a longshot—but it’s not impossible.
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