After months of anticipation and protest, the Senate will vote on an effort to save net neutrality Wednesday. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) called "the most important week for the internet that the Senate has ever seen".
The senator, who has offered a formal resolution to restore net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act - which allows lawmakers to reverse federal agencies' regulatory actions - said Democrats have successfully placed the measure on the chamber's legislative calendar, setting the stage for a Senate vote on Wednesday.
Senate Democrats moved to force a vote on a resolution to restore the 2015 rules, and have 50 senators lined up in support. It only requires a simple majority to be successful.
If the House also repeals the rule, the rule would land on President Donald Trump's desk for approval - which, considering his designation of Ajit Pai as FCC Chairman in the first place, seems unlikely.
"The time has come for Congress to undo the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality rules", Sen.
"We are working on getting the votes, and we're optimistic that we can", said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., when asked if the CRA majority vote could pose a hurdle. "From the GOP tax scam, to attacks on the Affordable Care Act, to rolling back fuel economy standards, and to net neutrality, the Trump administration has repeatedly ignored the needs of everyday American families". "With the FTC back at the helm, and appetite growing in Congress to make clear this enforcement authority is permanent and must be consistent across consumers' online experience, Americans should feel growing confidence that a proven cop is on the beat to protect their interests across the digital world". Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) are now on the fence, due to concerns over "retribution from Comcast's and Verizon's army of lobbyists", according to the net neutrality advocacy group Fight for the Future. Majorities in the Senate and House must agree with the reversal, and the president must sign the bill.
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The clock began running in earnest last week.
Net neutrality, which forces private companies to provide equal access to the Internet, is expected to be a major campaign issue Democrats will use in the 2018 midterm elections, not least for its importance to young people.
Evan Greer, the deputy director of Fight for the Future, explained the CRA and called the vote "a huge moment where the entire internet comes together" while speaking with the Daily Dot on its politics podcast We're All Gonna Die, last week. Stonyfield has been outspoken about the negative impact that repealing net neutrality protections would have on rural businesses, including the farms and cooperatives that supply products to Stonyfield.
If the resolution passes Wednesday, it would still face a House vote - where it could encounter more opposition. The CRA resolution would nullify the FCC's December 2017 vote. All 49 lawmakers who caucus with the Democrats and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican who has pledged to support net neutrality.