With FCC Set to End Net Neutrality, Senate Democrats Urge House Vote

ImageSenator Charles Schumer the minority leader has opposed the repeal of net neutrality

ImageSenator Charles Schumer the minority leader has opposed the repeal of net neutrality

The Senate passed its version of a bill to retainrules that were recently reversed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), thus saving net neutrality, in a 52 to 47 vote, with all Democrats in favor and several Republicans crossing the aisle.

Despite efforts last month by Democrats in the United States Senate to pass legislationto preserve the rules governing an open and free internet, net neutrality may still be coming to an end on Monday.

Democrats in the Senate are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to schedule a vote on a resolution to restore the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, The Hill is reporting. "Without these protections, broadband providers can decide what content gets through to consumers at what speeds and could use this power to discriminate against their competitors or other content".

Senate Democrats expressed similar sentiments in their letter, which was sent on Thursday. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Instead, big corporations who could pay would enjoy the benefits of a fast lane and speedy delivery of their content to consumers while those who could not pay these tolls - such as startups and small businesses, schools, rural Americans, and communities of color - would be disadvantaged.

Coinciding with the official implementation of FCC chair Ajit Pai's deeply unpopular net neutrality repeal plan on Monday, web defenders are holding a massive internet-wide day of action to channel public anger and pressure lawmakers to support the House resolution to restore the open internet.

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A spokeswoman for the House committee Chairman Greg Walden, a Republican, said he had not dropped his opposition to the net neutrality rules.

Speaker Ryan declined to offer any comment about the issue, Ars Technica reported. The House's Republican leadership doesn't appear likely to seek a vote of the full House.

The senators' letter comes as House Democrats are gathering signatures for a discharge petition that would force a vote on the CRA, whether Ryan wants one or not.

"More than 170 representatives have already indicated their support for the same resolution in the House", advocacy group Demand Progress said. "Two hundred and eighteen signatures are needed in order to force the [Congressional Review Act] resolution to the floor, increasingly within reach following the bipartisan vote in the Senate".

Both the House and President Donald Trump need to sign off on the CRA for it to take effect.

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