This past Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced that Senate Democrats are searching for one more Republican vote to prevent the FCC from repealing net neutrality.
All 49 Senate Democrats have said they’d support legislation to keep the current rules in effect. With the added support of Republican Susan Collins, only one more Republican is needed for the legislation to be sent to the House.
Introduced by Senator Ed Markey, the proposed bill would use a legislative tool called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to undo the FCC’s vote last month, which repealed net neutrality. The net neutrality rules required internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. Many fear that by repealing those rules, internet service providers such as Verizon or Comcast would be able to charge more for better services.
The Democratic-proposed legislation is unlikely to pass a vote in the House or be signed by President Donald Trump. But many Democrats feel that the bill is an opportunity to out Republicans, who claim to be for the little people but often side with corporations.
As Schumer stated, “With full caucus support, it’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options…When we force a vote on this bill, Republicans in Congress will — for the first time — have the opportunity to right the administration’s wrong and show the American people whose side they’re on: big ISPs and major corporations or consumers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.”
Markey’s statement also lambasted Republicans for even considering to put the wants of corporations before the desires and needs of their constituents: “Republicans now have a clear 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…I urge them to join the majority of Americans, embrace the bipartisanship of net neutrality, and support this resolution.”
Democrats know they are on the side of the people in this legislative battle, and intend to make sure that any Republican who fails to stand with them is publicly shamed for letting down the citizens.