Senate Votes To Advance Bill Overturning FCC Repeal Of Net Neutrality

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Senate Democrats succeeded Wednesday in forcing a vote on a bill to protect the FCC's net neutrality rules.

Three Senate Republicans joined the Democratic effort Wednesday to force a vote on a bill that would overturn FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's decision to repeal net neutrality rules.

Democrats are forcing the vote using a legislative tool called the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress, with the president's signature, to overturn recent decisions from federal agencies.

The Republican-controlled FCC voted in December to repeal the rules, which require internet service providers to give equal footing to all web traffic. Democrats argue that scrapping the rules will give ISPs free reign to suppress certain content or promote sites that pay them.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has shown support for the bill, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John Kennedy (R-La.) voted to move to debate, The Hill said, indicating they might have assured Democrats of their support for the actual bill.

“Soon, the American people will know which side their member of Congress is on: fighting for big corporations and ISPs or defending small business owners, entrepreneurs, middle-class families, and everyday consumers,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement last week when announcing that Democrats would be forcing the vote.

Attempting the same move in the House will be more difficult: Democrats will have to win the support of at least 25 Republicans in order to force a vote.