With the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules scheduled to be repealed on Monday, Senate Democrats are urging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to schedule a vote for the bill that would continue the FCC regulations.
The letter, headed by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Bill Nelson, and Sen. Brian Schatz, reads, “We write today to urge you to schedule a vote on S.J Res. 52, a resolution to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules. This measure, which passed the Senate by a powerful 52-47 bipartisan vote, will restore internet protections and insurance consumers continue to experience a free and open internet.”
“The rules that this resolution would restore were enacted by the FCC in 2015 to prevent broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, prioritizing, or otherwise unfairly discriminating against Internet traffic that flows across their networks,” the letter said. “Without these protections, broadband providers can decide what content gets through to consumers at what speeds and could use this power to discriminate against their competitors or other content.”
The letter finishes “As we approach the June 11th formal implementation date of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal, we strongly urge you to take up and pass S. J. Res. 52. It is essential that you take this step to protect middle-class families, consumers, farmers, communities of color, entrepreneurs and all who rely on the free and open internet.”
Ryan has yet to comment in response to the letter.
Republicans are pushing for net neutrality rules that are much weaker. Representative Marsha Blackburn proposed an “Open Internet Preservation Act” that would allow for internet providers to charge for access to certain sites and prevent the state governments from enacting their own net neutrality laws.
Republicans hold a 235-193 majority in the House. If the Republican leadership declines to schedule a vote, the House could force one if a majority of the members sign a petition.
An advocacy group reported that more than 170 representatives have indicated their support for the House to vote. Two Hundred and eighteen signatures would be needed to bring this vote to the House floor.
President Trump could still veto the bill if it passes the House.