Senate Democrats move to revive net neutrality rules - the wrong way

Sammi Le Master helps to dismantle a large alarm clock display that reads

Senate Democrats Clear First Vote on Move to Restore FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says this week's vote could help sway more Republicans if it heads to the House.

Wednesday's measure is backed by all 47 Senate Democrats, as well as Senator Angus King of Maine and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Independents who caucus with Democrats and rarely vote outside their party lines, and Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins.

"House Republicans don't have to choose the same path that the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate chose", Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

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. The FCC's net neutrality repeal gave broadband providers extraordinary new powers to block websites, throttle services and play favorites when it comes to online content.

The latest call to action followed similar rallying cries in recent days, as senators who oppose the FCC's December repeal of net neutrality rules have prepared to bring the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to the senate floor for a vote.

Polls also have showed strong public backing for net neutrality.

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The 2015 rules were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to Web content and bar broadband service providers from favoring their own material or others'.

By forcing a public vote on the issue - one that's popular with voters - Democrats hope to hike pre-midterm election pressure on enough lawmakers to gain a majority in the House. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) called "the most important week for the internet that the Senate has ever seen". "The grandparents, the gamers, the gearheads, the geeks, the gif-makers, the Generations X, Y, and Z. This movement to save net neutrality is made up of every walk of American life", he said.

The FCC decided in 2015 to reclassify internet service providers as common carriers under a 1996 law.

AT&T said Wednesday it backs an open internet and "actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users". The prior Administration's regulatory overreach took us in the opposite direction, reducing investment in broadband networks and particularly harming small Internet service providers in rural and lower-income areas.

"The next 24 hours could make or break this fight.This is a moment where the entire Internet needs to go all-in for net neutrality", wrote Greer. Even if it got the support of all 193 House Democrats, it would need more than two dozen Republicans to force a vote over the objections of the chamber's GOP leaders. According to data provided by Google, net neutrality regularly ranks among top political searches in each state.

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