With the eyes of the nation on the upper chamber, the Senate has heroically voted to reinstate the wildly unpopular net neutrality rules repealed by the Republican-led FCC.
The restoration of net neutrality has become a rallying cry for the majority of Americans who fear that the FCC’s move will allow broadband companies to throttle certain content while promoting their own sponsored or partner sites.
Today’s vote was made possible using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a legislative tool that enables the overturning of agency decisions with a majority vote in the Senate, the House, and the President’s signature. While today’s vote is laudable, the measure has little chance of passing through the Republican-controlled House or getting Trump’s signature. It does, however, give fodder to Democrats as midterms approach, as the GOP is currently thwarting the will of a massive 83 percent of Americans who support the legislation as it stands.
While the GOP argues that the Obama-era regulations are overly burdensome for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Democrats and internet activists maintain that they are necessary so that all web traffic is treated equally.
Republicans have suggested a new set of rules to replace those currently in question, but any replacement legislation would still leave open the possibility that broadband providers could create unfair “fast lanes” for certain content, which is the very antithesis of what the overwhelming majority of Americans want.
Republicans may think that Americans aren’t privy to their assault on the will of its people, but we notice. Here’s to hoping these votes were worth their seats, because they aren’t likely to retain them come November.