Dems to force Senate vote on net neutrality bill Wednesday

Dems to force Senate vote on net neutrality bill Wednesday
© Greg Nash

Democrats will force a Senate vote on Wednesday on a bill that would save the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) net neutrality rules from repeal.

Senate Democrats filed a discharge petition on the bill last week, starting the clock on the long-shot effort to preserve the Obama-era consumer protections.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Make the moon a refueling station — then head to Mars Dems push FEMA on housing help for displaced Puerto Ricans MORE (D-Mass.), would use authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify the FCC’s vote in December to roll back the rules. Under the CRA, lawmakers can force a vote in the Senate with just 30 lawmakers on board.

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The bill currently has 50 backers in the Senate, including every Democrat plus Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Pompeo creates 'action group' for Iran policy | Trump escalates intel feud | Report pegs military parade cost at M Hillicon Valley: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sits down with The Hill | Drama over naming DHS cyber office | Fallout over revoking Brennan's security clearance | Google workers protest censored search engine for China Trump escalates feud with intelligence officials MORE (R-Maine). Democrats need one more Republican to cross the aisle for 51-vote majority, but with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy GOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work CNN poll: Kavanaugh has lowest public support of Supreme Court nominee since Bork MORE (R-Ariz.) away from the Senate as he battles brain cancer, the math might be on their side.

Democrats have long argued against repealing the rules, which require internet service providers from treating all web traffic equally.

“The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerReforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' Senate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Monday. “A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price.”

Even if Markey’s legislation makes it out of the Senate, it will have a harder time reaching the floor of the House, which requires a bill to have majority support in order to force a vote.