The Congressional fight over the Net Neutrality repeal continues unabated. Senator Ed Markey’s resolution to override the recent FCC repeal of Net Neutrality principles received its 30th cosponsor. That simple fact now forces a full – and public – Senate floor vote on the resolution.
Read on for additional details on this important vote affecting every American’s Internet usage.
The Importance of a Public Senate Vote on Net Neutrality
When Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri agreed to cosponsor the Markey resolution, it triggered a Senate rule requiring a public floor vote. Typically, a Senate committee approves a bill first before a public vote.
In an election year, the stakes for the Senate just went through the roof. A polled supermajority of Americans – spanning both political parties – supports Net Neutrality. Therefore, expect senators up for reelection in November to see their vote used in election advertising.
“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,” said Senator Markey.
A Republican Senator supports the Markey Resolution
Chances for the Markey resolution’s success improved when Maine’s Republican senator, Susan Collins, announced support for the bill. “Senator Collins does not support the FCC’s recent decision to repeal net neutrality rules, and she will support Senator Markey’s legislation that would overturn the FCC’s vote,” said Collins’s spokeswoman to The Hill.
Still even with Collins’s support, another Republican senator needs to cross the aisle, assuming all Democrats vote in lockstep. A successful vote for the resolution sends the bill to the House and potentially the President’s desk. Of course, a final approval is unlikely. Nonetheless, getting congressional votes regarding Net Neutrality on the public record is the key in this mid-term election year.
“It will be a major issue in the 2018 campaigns,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer commented on Tuesday. Expect the vote to happen in a few months. As always, be sure to stay tuned to Bandwidth Place for additional coverage of the Net Neutrality repeal.