A Trade Group representing Internet giants including Google and Facebook is throwing its Support behind a Bill that would Reverse the Repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Net Neutrality Rules.
The Internet Association (IA) on Thursday sent a Letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) arguing that the FCC rules should be Reinstated.
"Strong net neutrality rules are necessitated by, among other factors, the lack of competition in the broadband service market," Michael Beckerman, the Group's CEO, wrote. "More than half of all Americans have no choice in their provider, and 87 percent of rural Americans have no choice."
A Senate Bill that would Overturn the FCC's December Decision has nearly enough support to Pass the Chamber.
Every Democrat and one Republican have announced their Support for the Bill, meaning that it needs just one more GOP Senator to put it over the Top.
Democrats have promised to force a Vote.
IA said while they support the Legislation, they are also calling on Lawmakers to Codify the Net Neutrality Rules into Law with a Bipartisan Bill.
Some Net Neutrality Supporters oppose any attempts at Legislation out of fear that it would fall short of the Obama-era FCC Protections, while Republicans and many in the Private Sector argue that it would help avoid the uncertainty brought by the back-and-forth at the FCC.
“The time has come for a bipartisan effort to establish permanent net neutrality rules for consumers, startups, established internet businesses, and internet service providers,” Beckerman wrote.
Schumer said he will force a Vote on a Bill that would Reinstate the FCC Net Neutrality Rules. Legislation to Reverse the Repeal "doesn't need the support of the majority leader," Schumer said during a Press Conference. "We can bring it to the floor and force a vote. So, there will be a vote to repeal the rule that the FCC passed."
Congress can Overturn Agency Actions by invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA), as it did earlier this year in order to Eliminate Consumer Broadband Privacy Protections. A successful CRA vote in this case would Invalidate the FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal and Prevent the FCC from issuing a similar Repeal in the Future. This would force the FCC to Maintain the Rules and the related Classification of ISPs as Common Carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. A CRA vote lets Congress "undo regulations with a simple majority," without the possibility of a Filibuster.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) announced a Plan to File the CRA Resolution. "It's in our power to do that and that's the beauty of the CRA rule," Schumer said. "Sometimes we don't like them, when they used it to repeal some of the pro-environmental regulations, but now we can use the CRA to our benefit, and we intend to."
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker