Senate Votes Yes to Save Net Neutrality - But What's Next?

Political commentators say that it's highly unlikely Trump will sign the resolution, because the White House backed the FCC ruling and he also signed a Congressional Review Act past year, overturning other FCC rules that implemented better privacy protection for internet users. Instead, it simply requires providers to disclose how they handle internet traffic. However, Republicans have voted en masse to have these regulations repealed, alongside Trump's vociferous dismissal of the Obama-era development.

The 52-47 vote, which saw three Republicans vote against their own side, used the Congressional Review Act - one of the checks and balances specifically created to fix problems caused by government agencies headed up by people who think they cool, but they not.

Rep. Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said Thursday that he has started a petition to force a House vote but it is unclear if he will get the 218 signatures needed. Enforcement is left to another agency. However, the FCC voted last December to disregard those rules.

Senate Democrats, led by Ed Markey of MA, used the Congressional Review Act-an oversight tool that permits Congress to repeal rulings made by agencies such as the FCC-to force Wednesday's vote.

The bill was passed with a 52 to 47 vote, with the Democrats and Independents receiving some surprising support from Republicans John Kennedy and Lisa Murkowski. However, he also urged Democrats to work with him so that certain net neutrality could be implemented, and promised internet users would not notice a big difference in the service when the repeal comes into effect.

Outside of Washington, DC, net neutrality is not a partisan issue.

"The U.S. Senate has narrowly approved a largely symbolic measure that only prolongs this decade-long controversy and does not provide consumers any assurances", said the NCTA in a statement. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. He called Markey's resolution "cynical" and a "bizarre exercise which we all know isn't going anywhere". It's also unlikely, though not impossible, that Trump will veto the decision. Unlike their elected representatives, Americans realize that net neutrality is not a government intrusion into the marketplace; rather these regulations simply codify norms and behaviors which have made the Internet the dynamic vehicle of innovation, participation and collaboration we have come to rely upon for commerce, culture and democratic communication.

Fear is a great motivator for voters.

"This is a turning point in the movement", said Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, according to CNET. He runs the Democrats' 2018 campaign operation and says Republicans are miscalculating how much voters care about this issue.

"Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election-year posturing from our representatives in Congress", he said in an email. They will face a tough fight in the House because many Republican reps support FCC's regulation.

  • Anthony Vega