Schumer promises a Senate vote on overturning FCC's net neutrality repeal

Schumer promises a Senate vote on overturning FCC's net neutrality repeal
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan Selling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal Ignore the naysayers trying to disrupt US diplomacy with North Korea MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that he intends to force a vote on a bill that would preserve Obama-era net neutrality rules, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to repeal this week.

Democrats want to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC’s decision. The CRA gives Congress the ability, with a majority in the House and Senate, to repeal agency rules. Republicans employed the tactic frequently during the first half of the year to roll back rules passed during the last days of the Obama administration.

“One, this CRA doesn’t need the support of the majority leader,” Schumer said during a press conference at WeWork’s headquarters in New York. “We can bring it to the floor and force a vote. So, there will be a vote to repeal the rule that the FCC passed.”

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“It’s in our power to do that and that’s the beauty of the CRA rule,” he continued. “Sometimes we don’t like them, when they used it to repeal some of the pro-environmental regulations, but now we can use the CRA to our benefit, and we intend to.”

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Trump taps Hill veteran for White House environment job Dems unveil push to secure state voting systems MORE (D-Mass.) announced on Thursday after the FCC’s vote that he and 19 other senators would be introducing the bill, and Rep. Mike DoyleMichael (Mike) F. DoyleWhat the net neutrality repeal means Hillicon Valley: States defy FCC on net neutrality | Facebook gave Chinese companies access to user data | Genealogy service hacked | 26 states get election cyber funds Dems demand FCC oversight hearing MORE (D-Pa.) has promised companion legislation in the House.

With Republicans in control of both chambers, the bill will have long odds. But net neutrality supporters plan to put the pressure on lawmakers to support the move. And a handful of Republicans, including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsActress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril MORE (Maine), have come out in opposition to the FCC’s move this week. Still, it’s unclear how many GOP lawmakers, if any, will support the bill.

"Our Republicans colleagues have a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support net neutrality, or hold hands with big corporations who only want to increase their profits at the expense of consumers and our economy,” Markey said, applauding Schumer's announcement.