The Senate Clears the First Hurdle Toward Rejecting the Trump FCC's Attack on Net Neutrality

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Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

WASHINGTON — On Monday, sponsorship for Sen. Ed Markey’s resolution of disapproval of last month’s Net Neutrality repeal reached 30 senators, with Sen. Claire McCaskill the most recent to sign on. The 30-sponsors mark in the Senate is significant because under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), that’s the total number of votes needed to discharge a resolution and take it to a vote on the Senate floor.

This specific resolution, which would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s unpopular Dec. 14 decision to destroy Net Neutrality, will be introduced after the agency delivers the final rules to Congress in the coming weeks.

Under the CRA, Congress has 60 legislative days from the time the rules are submitted to vote to reject the FCC repeal. A resolution requires only a simple majority in both chambers.

Sen. Markey (D–Massachusetts) announced on the day of the FCC vote that he would introduce a resolution of disapproval in the Senate. The sponsor list now includes Markey, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–New York), and Sens. Ron Wyden (D–Oregon), Maria Cantwell (D–Washington), Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii), Richard Blumenthal (D–Connecticut), Sheldon Whitehouse (D–Rhode Island), Jeff Merkley (D–Oregon), Kirsten Gillibrand (D–New York), Tammy Baldwin (D–Wisconsin), Martin Heinrich (D–New Mexico), Maggie Hassan (D–New Hampshire), Amy Klobuchar (D–Minnesota), Gary Peters (D–Michigan), Debbie Stabenow (D–Michigan), Patrick Leahy (D–Vermont), Bernie Sanders (I–Vermont), Sherrod Brown (D–Ohio), Jack Reed (D–Rhode Island), Tim Kaine (D–Virginia), Elizabeth Warren (D–Massachusetts), Dick Durbin (D–Illinois), Michael Bennet (D–Colorado), Jeanne Shaheen (D–New Hampshire), Chris Van Hollen (D–Maryland), Ben Cardin (D–Maryland), Mazie Hirono (D–Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (D–Illinois), Kamala Harris (D–California) and Claire McCaskill (D–Missouri).

According to many recent polls, strong majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters oppose the FCC decision to repeal the Net Neutrality rules. A University of Maryland poll from December 2017 found that more than 83 percent of voters favor keeping the rules, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents.

Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

“Supporting Net Neutrality should be a no-brainer for members of Congress, whose constituents from across the political spectrum are united in their opposition to the Trump FCC’s attack on the open internet. More and more lawmakers are recognizing this truth, helped along by the forceful outcry from the people they represent.

“If lawmakers care at all about the open internet, they should support this resolution to restore the Net Neutrality rules and Title II.

“People have logged more than a million calls to Congress to reject FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to kill Net Neutrality on Dec. 14. Regardless of party affiliation, all elected officials should stand with their constituents and restore the 2015 protections that protect free speech, choice and innovation online.”