Senate to force vote on overturning recent net neutrality repeals
To the dismay of millions of Americans, 2017 ended with the repeal of net neutrality laws that were set in place by the Obama Administration in a 3-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission. Artists and celebrities joined the droves of livid protesters, both online and in the streets to vocalize their outrage; meanwhile, the FCC poached “Harlem Shake” for a video intended to quell people’s tempers in what turned out to be one of the most cringe-worthy moments in a cringe-filled year.
America’s lawmakers are now finally catching up, as the Senate prepares to vote on possibly overturning the FCC’s recent decision. It’s a real long shot, but here’s how it came together, and theoretically, how it could proceed.
Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, one of the leading political voices of dissent against the FCC’s move, has garnered the support necessary (30 votes) to force a congressional vote under the guidelines of the Congressional Review Act alongside Senator Claire McCaskill . The Act allows Congress to negate recently-passed regulations with a simple majority.
Here’s the long shot. If the Senate debates, votes on, and eventually chooses to overturn the FCC’s ruling, the resolution goes to the House. If the resolution then passes in the House, it lands on Donald Trump’s desk for signature, which seems like the most unlikely component of the whole scenario. If the resolution does not pass on the Senate floor, there are other legal avenues to explore — individual states are already gearing up to implement local legislation that will combat the FCC’s regulations. In fact, with an upcoming Senate vote now officially underway, the fight to restore the Obama-era net regulations is now just getting started.