SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE MAJOR MILESTONE IN FIGHT TO PROTECT NET NEUTRALITY: ENTIRE SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS NOW COSPONSORING LEGISALTION TO REVERSE FCC’S RECENT VOTE AND FULLY RESTORE THE 2015 OPEN INTERNET ORDERJanuary 16, 2018
With All 49 Democratic Senators Planning To Cosponsor Senator Markey’s Resolution Of Disapproval, Dems Urge Republicans To Back Bill – Now That Republican Senator Collins Announced Her Support, Only One More Republican Senator Is Needed To Pass The Legislation In The Senate
Democrats Will Force Vote On The Legislation Later This Year -- Republicans Will Have To Choose Whether To Do The Bidding Of Big ISPs And Major Corporations Or Average Consumers, Entrepreneurs, and Small Businesses
Senate Democrats: It’s Time To Right This Administration’s Wrong And Ensure The Internet Remains Free & Open for All Americans, Not Just The Wealthiest or Corporations
Washington, D.C. - Senate Democrats announced today that the legislation to overturn the FCC’s recent vote to repeal the net neutrality rule now has the support of all 49 Democrats in the United States Senate. Today’s announcement is the latest milestone in the Democrats’ fight to stand up for average consumers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld in 2016. The Open Internet Order prohibited internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against content online. Repealing the net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower internet traffic, and even blocked websites.
The resolution of disapproval, which is being led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and now has the support of the entire Senate Democratic caucus, would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s item and fully restore the Open Internet Order. CRA resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions at federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, the Senators will formally introduce the resolution after the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register and then force a vote within 60 legislative days.
“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,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “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.”
“There is a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support to overturn the FCC’s partisan and misguided decision on net neutrality,” said Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). 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.”
“Every member of Congress is going to say they support an open internet, but now it’s time to put up or shut up,” said Senator Brian Schatz, ranking member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “I hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will do the right thing. Otherwise, this is just a huge giveaway to the ISPs. There is simply no other constituency for ending the internet as we know it.”
“Net neutrality rules ensure basic fairness on the internet and help foster healthy competition that benefits consumers,” said Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). “Rural North Dakota consumers and small businesses lose out if internet service providers are allowed to block, throttle or prioritize certain content, and that’s why I’m supporting a resolution to restore net neutrality and level the playing field for all internet users. This isn't a partisan issue -- the vast majority of North Dakotans who have called and written to my office about this issue support strong net neutrality rules, and the FCC's decision should be reversed.”