Senate bill to reverse net neutrality repeal gains 30th co-sponsor, ensuring floor vote

A Senate bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality received its 30th co-sponsor on Monday, ensuring it will receive a vote on the Senate floor.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in Dems search for winning playbook MORE (D-Mo.) announced her support for the bill on Twitter, putting it over the top of a procedural requirement to bypass committee approval.

The bill, which is being pushed by Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals Dems say they have 50 votes in Senate to overrule net neutrality repeal MORE (D-Mass.), would use Congress’s authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the FCC’s rollback of its popular net neutrality rules.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve reached the magic number of 30 to secure a vote on the Senate floor, and that number will only continue to climb,” Markey said in a statement Monday. “Republicans are faced with a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.”

Under the CRA, if a joint resolution of disapproval bill has enough support it can bypass committee review and be fast-tracked to a floor vote. If the bill is passed and signed into law, it would vacate the FCC's vote last month and prohibit the agency from ever trying to repeal the rules in the future.
 
Lawmakers have 60 legislative days after the FCC submits its regulations to Congress to pass the CRA. The repeal order is currently awaiting approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

With Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, the bill faces long odds to win the simple majorities it needs to reach the president’s desk. But Democrats and activists see a clear upside in forcing GOP lawmakers to take an official stance during an election year on the consumer protections, which polls have shown to be popular among voters.

“Today’s news shows that lawmakers from both parties cannot hide from their constituents on this issue,” said Evan Greer, an activist with the group Fight for the Future, which has promised to rally voters around the issue in the midterm elections. “Every member of the U.S. Senate will have to go on the record, during a tight election year, and either vote to save the Internet or rubber stamp its death warrant.”