Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Brown: Net Neutrality Vote Could Bring More Pressure on GOP

Brown: Net Neutrality Vote Could Bring More Pressure on GOP Brown: Net Neutrality Vote Could Bring More Pressure on GOP
Jean Garcia | 16 May, 2018, 21:31

The U.S. Senate has the votes to advance a bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission decision in December to repeal landmark 2015 net neutrality rules. The resolution brought under the Congressional Review Act can not be filibustered, and it only requires a simple majority to clear the Senate. While the FCC is an independent government agency, it is overseen by Congress.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a legislative tool that allows Congress to block regulations made by federal agencies within 60 days from when they were passed. The resolution needs only a simple majority of Senators present to pass.

On the other hand, a Democratic-led CRA is a direct, partisan attack on the administration, which has supported this FCC's actions, and would cause return to Obama-era rules, which few Republicans would relish.

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Three Republicans joined the 49 Democrats in voting to begin debate on the measure.

The group urged supporters to call key senators in Utah, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and California, as well as Murkowski, Gardner, and Kennedy, to ensure that the Democratic caucus of 49 senators have the Republican support they need to pass the CRA. Sen. To force the review to head to the House of Representatives, the Democrats will need 51 votes. Susan Collins of ME, is expected to pass in the Senate but its future in the GOP-led House is doubtful and President Donald Trump is unlikely to back it.

Sen. Ed Markey, who is now leading of the effort to save Net Neutrality, stated that the possibility of President Trump blocking the movement if it passes the necessary votes would create a "political firestorm", however the controversial world leader hasn't shied from such backlash in the past. Shortly before the FCC's vote last December, polling by the University of Maryland showed that 83 percent of voters opposed the FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality. "The choice should be clear - the American public should always come first". "On June 11, we will have a framework in place that encourages innovation and investment in our nation's networks so that all Americans, no matter where they live, can have access to better, cheaper, and faster Internet access and the jobs, opportunities, and platform for free expression that it provides", said FCC Chairman AjitPai in a recent statement. "The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses. This is a moment where the entire Internet needs to go all-in for net neutrality", Fight for the Future's deputy director, Evan Greer, wrote in a statement.

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