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 MarkeySens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-Mass.) made the announcement alongside a handful of Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers push Trump to restore full funding for National Guards responding to pandemic Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks 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.