By Harper Neidig | The Hill
The Senate on Wednesday voted to reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules, passing a bill that has little chance of advancing in the House but offers net neutrality supporters and Democrats a political rallying point for the midterm elections.
Democrats were able to force Wednesday’s vote using an obscure legislative tool known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA bills allow Congress, with a majority vote in each chamber and the president’s signature, to overturn recent agency moves.
Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Kennedy (La.) — joined the 49 Senate Democrats to pass the bill 52-47.
They argue that without the net neutrality regulations, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, companies such as Verizon and Comcast will be free to discriminate against certain content or boost their partner websites.
“As the ‘net neutrality’ debate rages on, analysts will continue to monitor how the rescindment of the previous net neutrality policies has affected the world. Time will better tell if the FCC’s current policy leads to the dire results that net neutrality advocates fear. In the meantime, the House political battle will be interesting to watch.”
~ Troy Roberts