WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced that the entire Senate Democratic Caucus is now co-sponsoring legislation to restore open-internet protections. This brings the total to 50 senators who have agreed to support Sen. Ed Markey’s resolution of disapproval, which would undo last month’s unpopular Federal Communications Commission decision to repeal Net Neutrality.
Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the resolution now needs only one additional vote to pass the Senate. Support for the resolution includes all 47 Senate Democrats, 2 Senate independents and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
According to the CRA, Congress has 60 legislative days from the time the rules are submitted to vote to reject the FCC repeal. A resolution requires only a simple majority in both chambers. This specific resolution, which would overturn the FCC’s Dec. 14 vote to destroy Net Neutrality, will be introduced after the agency delivers the final rules to Congress in the coming weeks.
According to recent polls, strong majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters oppose the FCC decision to gut the Net Neutrality rules. A University of Maryland poll from December 2017 found that more than 83 percent of voters favor keeping the rules, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents.
Since December, more than a million people have called Congress to urge their lawmakers to overturn the FCC decision.
Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:
“It’s no surprise that more Washington lawmakers are listening at last to the strong, bipartisan backing for Net Neutrality. These lawmakers have been hearing from constituents on the left and right who are united against the Trump FCC’s attack on the open internet. The consensus is resonating in the Senate, which keeps hitting new milestones like this one, and in the House of Representatives, where people in favor of rejecting the FCC’s December decision have lit up phone lines.
“People know what’s at stake in the Net Neutrality fight. And they’ve told their elected officials in Washington that supporting real Net Neutrality means restoring the 2015 open-internet rules and Title II. Those rules are a proven way to prevent broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from blocking, degrading or otherwise interfering with our internet connections.
“Constituents have already logged more than a million calls to Congress to reject FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision. Regardless of party affiliation, all members of Congress should stand with those who’ve elected them and restore the 2015 protections that give internet users control over their online choices.”