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 MarkeyGabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal 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.”
 
It appears that Democrats may have the votes to win on the Senate floor. They currently have 50 votes in favor of the measure, including GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTexas GOP rep opposes Trump’s use of national emergency to get border wall GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration Talk grows that Trump will fire Dan Coats MORE (Maine). 

If Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech 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 TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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.