John Thune, R-S.D., said the Senate’s vote later Wednesday on a measure reversing the Federal Communications Commission’s decision that scrapped the “net neutrality” rule amounted to “political theater” with no prospects of approval by the GOP-controlled House. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Angus King of ME and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is not expected to pass in the House.
“This vote is a no brainer”, U.S. Sen. “It’s also about preserving access to information in times of need”.
By 52 to 47, the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) to undo the FCC’s vote to deregulate broadband internet.
This dearth of coverage may stem in part from the distraction of President Donald Trump, as since his election, media outlets have been laser-focused on his statements and actions. Republicans used this talking point to argue that ISPs shouldn’t be forced to operate under different rules than websites in their support for ending net neutrality protections.
“If you trust your cable company, you’re going to support” the FCC’s decision eliminate net-neutrality rules, Kennedy said. Without both of those, this is a nice PR stunt for a couple Republicans and not much else. Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who was appointed by President Trump to emasculate the FCC, was not happy, saying Democrats were using “scare tactics”, The Hill reported.
Republicans said the regulations threaten heavy-handed government intrusion that would stifle innovation on the internet. Unrefuted evidence shows that broadband investment plummeted by over 20 percent, a collapse that brought with it a significant reduction in sector employment and the slowed growth in average connection speeds due to the delayed deployment of faster networks. That means less competition. “And that means more Americans are left on the wrong side of the digital divide”, Pai said in an announcement a year ago after the reversal succeeded.
The ACLU of Alaska was one of the many Democrat-favoring groups involved in a last-minute push to pressure Sen. “Are you on the side of large internet companies, or are you on the side of American families?” They say just trust us.
“Make no mistake this is pretty massive, think about how many times the Senate has voted along party lines”, says Ernesto Falcon, chief legislative counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to “defending civil liberties in the digital world”.
Even if the Senate passes the resolution, it’s unlikely to be enacted.
Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth of IL said “the voices of the American people were heard” with the Senates vote.
And while some internet service providers have promised to be good to consumers if net neutrality goes away, Schatz said the only avenue to stop a corporation from “doing all the wrong things” is hold them accountable under the law.
Some Vermont-based internet service providers do not anticipate changing their operations at all once the new set of rules takes effect.
When the FCC repealed net neutrality they unleashed the fury of the Internet, and it led to a backlash unlike anything ever seen before.