Senate Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Achieves Important Milestone
The controversial decision to repeal net neutrality, which opened the door to Internet providers favoring certain online traffic, could still be overturned.
A Senate bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s decision in December, received its 30th co-sponsor Monday, meaning that it will receive a vote, reports The Hill.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was the latest senator to express support for the bill, which put the number of supporters above the procedural requirement to bypass committee approval. McCaskill announced her support for Sen. Markey’s (D-Mass.) bill on Twitter.
Following McCaskill’s tweet, Markey said in a statement Monday, “We’ve reached the magic number of 30 to secure a vote on the Senate floor, and that number will only continue to climb. Republicans are faced with a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.”
On Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission voted to remove net neutrality protections that had been introduced in 2015. These protections sought to ensure that internet service providers treat web content equally and do not block or prioritize some content over others in return for payment. Sen. Markey proposed the resolution in mid-December with 27 other senators, just a day after the FCC repealed net neutrality. It seeks to use the Congressional authority provided through the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC’s decision.
While McCaskill’s support is good news for those who wish to see the decision overturned, the vote in itself will not be enough to ensure that net neutrality will be restored. Once the bill goes to a vote, it will still need a majority to pass and then will wind up on Trump’s desk, who is unlikely to approve the bill.
But fear not—there are a number of other ways people are fighting the end of net neutrality, from lawsuits to local legislation.