Senate Votes To Override FCC’s Net Neutrality Changes


CRA Vote

Three Republican Senators voted with all 49 Democrats in the chamber to pass a measure today (5/16) to repeal the FCC’s new rules that dismantled net neutrality. Sens. LISA MURKOWSKY (R-AK), JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), and SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME) joined the Democrats in using the Senate’s power under the Congressional Review Act to vote with a simple majority to override the Commission’s decision to gut net neutrality. The measure will now go to the House, where it faces a tough road and the necessity of getting 25 Republicans to join all Congressional Democrats in voting for the bill.

FCC Chairman AJIT PAI, who led the charge to reverse the FCC’s course and end net neutrality after his predecessor TOM WHEELER’s actions to regulate ISPs, was predictably displeased with, and dismissive of, the Senate action, releasing a statement saying, “It’s disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin. But, ultimately, I’m confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail. The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the WHITE HOUSE and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet. And, it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on [MONDAY], JUNE 11th.

“Moreover, contrary to the scare tactics employed by Senate Democrats, which earned three Pinocchios from the WASHINGTON POST’s fact-checker, our light-touch approach will deliver better, faster, and cheaper Internet access and more broadband competition to the American people — something that millions of consumers desperately want and something that should be a top priority. 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. Our approach will help promote digital opportunity –that is, making high-speed Internet access available to every single American so that they can be participants in, rather than spectators of, our digital economy.”

Equally as predictably, Commissioner JESSICA ROSENWORCEL took the opposite position from PAI, with a statement reading “Today the U.S. Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late last year. 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. This put the FCC on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people. Today’s vote is a sign that the fight for Internet freedom is far from over. I’ll keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will, too.”

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