Fifty senators have endorsed a legislative measure to override the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to deregulate the broadband industry, top Democrats said Monday.
The tally leaves supporters just one Republican vote shy of the 51 required to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval, in a legislative gambit aimed at restoring the agency’s net neutrality rules.
Those rules, which banned Internet providers from blocking or slowing down websites, were swept away in a December vote led by Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Republicans had argued that the rules were too restrictive for industry, while Democrats said they provided a vital consumer protection.
The resolution aims to overturn the FCC’s decision and prohibit the agency from passing similar measures in the future. It has the support of all 49 Democratic senators as well as one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
“With full caucus support,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the lawmakers spearheading the effort, “it’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the Internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options.”
To pass the Senate, backers of the resolution must recruit one more Republican member to their ranks. The measure must survive the Republican-majority House and be signed by President Trump to take effect.
The tally leaves supporters just one vote shy of the 51 required to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval, in a legislative gambit aimed at restoring the agency’s net neutrality rules.