Democratic Petition in Senate Sets Up Neutrality Repeal Vote

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said on Wednesday he filed a petition to force a vote by the full Senate on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would overturn network neutrality rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December 2017.

The FCC’s action late last year reclassified Internet service as an information service for regulatory purposes; it had been classified as a common carrier telecommunications service under the FCC’s previous order on the issue in 2015. The effect of last year’s FCC action was to eliminate prohibitions on service blocking and throttling by providers, among other restrictions.

A vote by the Senate on the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s December 2017 action has not been scheduled, but Markey said Wednesday he expected the vote to occur “in the coming days.” All 49 Senate Democrats plus Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, support the bid to overturn the rules, but 51 votes are required for approval.

Democrats appear to lack sufficient support in the House for approval of the measure, and a bill to accomplish that aim has attracted only 160 cosponsors.  Support of 218 House members would be required for passage.

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