Senate bill to block net neutrality repeal now has 40 co-sponsors

A Senate bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from repealing its net neutrality rules now has 40 co-sponsors, Senate Democrats announced Tuesday.

The news comes just a day after the bill won its 30th co-sponsor, ensuring that it has enough support to clear a procedural threshold and get fast-tracked to a floor vote.

It appears unlikely that the bill will pass, but Democrats see political value in forcing Republicans to take a stance on the issue. Polls have found that a large majority of the public supports keeping the net neutrality rules.

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.) made the announcement alongside a handful of Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDems must stop picking foxes to guard the financial hen house Schumer warns 'House moderates' against immigration compromise bill Trump knocks Schumer, touts North Korea summit in early morning tweet MORE (D-N.Y.). 

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“Millennials were born into a world with a free and open internet,” Schumer said. “It’s as integral to their daily lives as a morning cup of coffee. So when the administration rips it from their hands and hands it over to the big ISPs on a silver platter, millennials will know that Republicans were responsible — you can bet Democrats are going to make sure of that.”

The bill would use authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC’s repeal from going into effect. And with more than 30 senators on board, the legislation will be able to bypass the committee approval process and Democrats will be able to force a vote on the floor.

Still, assuming every Democrat backs the legislation, they will still need at least two Republicans to join them for it to pass. But even if the bill fails, Democrats think they can use the roll call vote to give Republicans headaches in this year’s midterm elections.

“There will be a political price to pay for those who are on the wrong side of history,” Markey said.