Senate Dems to force vote on net neutrality

Senate Dems to force vote on net neutrality
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Senate Democrats are planning to take a first step next week toward forcing a vote to restore the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality regulations.  

Democrats have been gathering signatures under the Congressional Review Act to force a vote to overturn the decision by the FCC to repeal the net neutrality rules. Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Mueller indicts Russians for DNC hack | US officially lifts ZTE ban | AT&T CEO downplays merger challenge | Microsoft asks for rules on facial recognition technology | Dems want probe into smart TVs Dems push FTC to investigate smart TVs over privacy concerns Hillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger MORE (D-Mass.) tweeted on Monday that Democrats will file the petition to force the vote on May 9. The vote could take place as soon as the week after.

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“We’re in the homestretch in the fight to save net neutrality,” Schumer said in a statement. “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 every-day consumers.”
 

If Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Ariz.) is absent from the Senate, that would be enough to win a Senate vote. McCain has been absent all year as he undergoes treatment for brain cancer.

The legislation is not expected to move in the House, however, and even if it did, it's unlikely President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE would sign it.

Democrats are racing to get the vote completed by a June 12th deadline. They have a 60-day window to force a CRA vote following the FCC's publication of its net neutrality repeal in the Federal Register on Feb. 22.

The Senate legislation is only one component in the protracted battle over net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai scrapped the rules in December, erasing regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

Telecommunications companies like Comcast and AT&T had viciously fought against the rules, which aim to prevent them from prioritizing and blocking certain types of content. Such firms argued that the rules were too onerous and stifled broadband investment.

In addition to the CRA in Congress, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have filed lawsuits challenging Pai’s move to repeal the net neutrality rules.

- Updated at 4:34 p.m.