Washington, DC, USA: Michael F. Doyle, Democrat, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 14th congressional district, said Wednesday that he intends to launch a discharge petition in an order to force a House vote on reinstating the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules – after the Senate passed a bill to overturn the repeal which the FCC says will become effective on June 11th.
The Senate version of the bill passed on Wednesday, 52-47. Three Republican Senators joined their Democratic colleagues in supporting the bill – Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Kennedy (Louisiana) and Susan Collins (Maine).
“It’s about protecting small businesses, students, innovators, entrepreneurs and competition. These are the policies that every American benefits from and it enables our modern economy. That’s why I have introduced companion (Congressional Review Act) in the House and I’m going to continue to work with the leadership in the House to bring this to the floor,” Rep. Mike Doyle said at a press conference after the Senate passed a bill reinstating net neutrality.
Congressional Review Act (CRA) bills allow Congress to overturn agency decisions with majority votes in each chamber, and a signature from the president.
In addition to the CRA, Doyle said he intends to launch a discharge petition on Thursday morning. If 25 Republicans and every Democrat in the House sign the petition, it would force a vote.
Doyle urged citizens to phone their lawmaker and encourage them to sign the petition. He said those who don’t support maintaining net neutrality will be held accountable at the polls in November.
At the same press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) called on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to bring the CRA to the House floor, urging Republicans to back it.
Most Republican lawmakers argue that the Obama net neutrality rules is a case of over regulation.
The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines in December to repeal its Obama-era Open Internet Order.
EARLIER: Senate Approves Overturning FCC’s Net Neutrality Rollback – The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission, FCC’s net neutrality repeal, which the FCC earlier said will be effective June 11th.
Three republicans Senators, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine joined democrats in the symbolic 52-47 vote the outcome of which is unlikely to derail the FCC’s repeal of Obama-era rules that restrict Internet service providers’ ability to slow down or speed up users’ access to specific websites and apps.
“Today is a monumental day,” said Senator Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, during debate over the resolution. “Today we show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration.”
The legislative victory is fleeting because the House does not intend to take similar action, but Democrats are planning to carry the political fight over internet access into the 2018 midterms.
Markey described a coalition of internet voters that bridge the usual philosophical party lines when it comes to government regulation. “The grandparents, the gamers, the gearheads, the geeks, the gif-makers, the generations x, y, and z. This movement to save net neutrality is made up of every walk of American life,” he said.
Critics of the FCC rollback say they’re worried about consumers being forced to pay more for less consistent or slower service. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, part of the Republican majority, has said the Obama rule was “heavy-handed” and isn’t needed.
EARLIER: FCC Sets Date For End Of Net Neutrality – Net neutrality will end on June 11, the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, announced, Thursday.
“Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored,” FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, said in a statement Thursday.
“The agency failed to listen to the American public and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land,” FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told reporters. “The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people.”
Ajit Pai’s announcement comes right after a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a discharge petition, officially challenging the FCC’s rollback of the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The petition will require a majority vote in the Senate and House of Representatives, along with the signature of President Donald Trump, so it has a long way to go, but the vote could take place as early as next week.
The Senate will vote to overturn the repeal as early as next week, but even if those efforts pass the House, President Donald Trump could still veto it.
EARLIER: – Senators Force Vote In Effort To Restore Net Neutrality – Senate Democrats, on Wednesday, filed a petition that will force a vote on the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, removal of net neutrality protections. “I believe today kicks off the most important week for the internet that the Senate has ever seen,” Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) said in a speech today.
While the Democrats had enough signatures to call for a vote, they’re still one person away from actually overturning the FCC decision.
Senator Markey said today that there are already 160 Representatives on board, but that’s far from the 218 needed for a vote to restore net neutrality.
Even if that effort is successful, President Donald Trump could still overturn the measure with a veto.
In order to encourage one more Senator to join every Democrat and the one Republican who have committed to vote for net neutrality, BattleForTheNet.com launched its Red Alert campaign today to “save net neutrality and stop ISPs from ruining the Internet”. A number of companies including Reddit, Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, TripAdvisor, Tumblr, Etsy, Wikimedia and GitHub are posting red alerts on their sites today urging visitors to contact their Senators and express their support for net neutrality.
Today we are officially filing the petition to force a Senate vote protecting #NetNeutrality – the essential foundation of our free, open internet. — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 9, 2018
“The internet is lighting up in protest once again because this Senate vote will impact the future of the web for years to come,” Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. “This is the most important moment in tech policy since the FCC repeal and everyone should be paying attention. This is the moment for entire web to come together to fight. Net neutrality is not a partisan issue outside of Washington DC. Now we need to get DC to catch up with the rest of the country.”
If they get that last needed vote and successfully overturn the FCC decision, the House of Representatives will have to take a similar measure.
Today is the day. @SenateDems are officially filing the petition that allows us to force a vote on the Senate floor to save #NetNeutrality. But we still need #OneMoreVote to get it done. If you want to protect a free & open internet, make your voices heard before it’s too late! — Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) May 9, 2018
The FCC’s decision was published in the Federal Register on February 22nd and as per the Congressional Review Act, the Senate has 60 days from that date to take action.