WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats, joined by three Republicans, pushed through a measure Wednesday meant to revive Obama-era internet rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic, though opposition in the House and the White House seems insurmountable.
But most Republicans opposed the effort, saying the regulations were potentially too onerous and that Democrats were trying to use the issue for partisan gains in November.
But, for now, net neutrality lives. That wouldn't necessarily weigh heavily on Congress, but with mid-terms fast approaching, some many be concerned that the issue will be a factor in how people vote.
The US Senate has the votes to advance a bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission decision in December to repeal landmark 2015 net neutrality rules. Such a vote was made possible under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review new regulations with a majority vote.
Today's vote implications are significant-net neutrality is critical for our nation's progress and for the creation of good jobs in the future. Yesterday's vote included three Republicans, including Susan Collins of Maine. The net neutrality rules, approved by the same organization two years earlier, prohibited internet service providers - such as Comcast and Verizon - from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps. Only three Republican senators voted in favor of the resolution. Tech giants such as Google and Facebook have been vocal in their support for the retention of the rules. Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said in a speech before the vote to get in touch with Republican senator.
Prior to the vote Senator Hassan spoke on the floor of the Senate, reinforcing the importance of protecting a free and open internet so that all hard-working Granite Staters and businesses across the country can thrive.
Later, Rep. Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, said she was happy by the result in the Senate with the legislation.
A major objection about the Net neutrality rules was the FCC's decision to classify broadband as a more highly regulated utilitylike service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.