Senate backs measure to stop FCC from ending net neutrality
The Senate on Wednesday approved a resolution intended to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s move to deregulate the internet.
The effort came weeks before the new rules were set to kick in on June 11.
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) called the vote a victory for democracy and the economy, according to the Washington Post.
“When we talk about a free and open internet, we mean it is free from corporate control,” he said.
Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, told the paper he was persuaded to vote yes because more than 1 in 5 Louisianans lack choice in their broadband provider.
“It was a fairly close call, but I’ll tell you what it comes down to: the extent to which you trust your cable company,” Kennedy said.
“If you trust your cable company, you’re not going to like my vote today. If you don’t trust your cable company, you will.”
But Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai slammed Democrats for what he called “scare tactics.”
“It’s disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin,” Pai said in a statement.
“But ultimately, I’m confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the internet will fail.”
The measure passed with the backing of all 49 Democratic senators as well as three Republicans — Kennedy, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
The Senate resolution faces a hurdle in the GOP-controlled House.
In a 3-2 vote along party lines in December, the FCC repealed the 2015 net neutrality rules, which require internet providers to treat all websites equally.