Senate Democrats Win Net Neutrality Vote With Help of Three Republicans

Senate Democrats Win Net Neutrality Vote With Help of Three Republicans

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., applauded the Senate vote Wednesday to reverse the Federal Communication Commission's "misguided" decision to end net neutrality protection, which they said would harm consumers, innovation and the open internet.

Wednesday's 52-47 vote went along mostly party lines, with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John Kennedy of Louisiana joining Democratic senators in favor of the resolution.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said lawmakers in that chamber are focused on designing their own legislation to "permanently address this issue", casting doubt on whether the Senate resolution can advance. Edward Markey, D-Mass., during debate over the resolution. 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.

One of the reasons why the FCC chose to end its net neutrality protection is because the agency believes that its authority extends only in the regulation of broadband networks, whereas websites and services are under the domain of the Federal Trade Commission.

The FCC voted in December to repeal Obama-era protections. Then the resolution needs the signature of the same president who pushed the net neutrality repeal, through his FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who runs the Senate GOP's 2018 campaign operation and voted against the resolution.

The revised rules were a win for internet service providers, whose practices faced significant government oversight and FCC investigations under the 2015 order.

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Portman released a statement that said he wants Congress to pass a law that will "protect consumers and secure an open internet" rather than a "partisan regulatory process at the Federal Communications Commission that can be easily changed from administration to administration".

Internet providers have characterized net neutrality as an issue that has yet to become a problem.

Democrats argued the new FCC rules give too much power to Internet service providers, which they fear will throttle down speeds for some websites and services while ramping it up for others who pay more. "The grandparents, the gamers, the gearheads, the geeks, the gif-makers, the Generations X, Y, and Z. This movement to save net neutrality is made up of every walk of American life", he said.

The vote, he said, "will be the most important vote for the internet in the history of the Senate, and I call on my Republicans colleagues to join this movement and stand on the right side of digital history".

All 49 Democrats voted yes as did three Republicans.

The true victory for net neutrality supporters could be to stop wasting energy on the CRA and redirect it to efforts that actually might succeed.

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