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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 MarkeyElection Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda 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 CollinsManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Conservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns MORE (R-Maine). Democrats need one more Republican to cross the aisle for 51-vote majority, but with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump: 'You know what I am? I'm a nationalist' Graham on Saudi Arabia: 'I feel completely betrayed' Meghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family 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 SchumerManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' 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.