Senate passes overturning the repeal of net neutrality

Ian Bush
May 16, 2018 - 6:12 pm

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WASHINGTON (KYW Newsradio) — A measure that would overturn the repeal of net neutrality has passed in the Senate, with three Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus. 

While the House is likely to give it the thumbs-down, that might not matter much to its supporters in Congress.

"We're going to hold people accountable on Election Day," said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.).

Doyle is working to force a vote in the House on a companion to the Congressional Review Act — given the thumbs-up in the Senate by a vote of  52-47 — so everyone will know where their representatives stand.

"Democrats, Republicans, independents by over 80 percent support net neutrality," he added.

Dems believe the issue will drive turnout, especially among younger voters, in the general election. That's tantamount to playing politics with the internet, in the eyes of South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune.

"This is a heavy-handed government approach to regulating the most powerful economic engine that we've seen literally in generations," he said.

Thune added that those Obama-era rules have slowed investment in new technologies and in expanding broadband access. Democrats contend the regulations are critical consumer protections keeping Comcast and Verizon from blocking, speeding or slowing access to websites and services.

"People understand cable and the problems with it. They don't want the internet to become cable," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

But Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford said the internet wasn't broken before the regulations took effect — but that could happen if the rules are restored.

"Why don't we just do this: Let everybody compete, and not try to have the government in between," he said.