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Dems to Push for Net Neutrality Senate Vote
Senate Democrats have mustered enough backing for their plan to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. The bill now has 40 co-sponsors, but only needed 30 to meet the threshold to force a floor vote.
Sen. Clair McCaskill (D-MO) was the 30th Senator to sign on, announcing Monday she would support the plan to make use of the Congressional Review Act to undo the FCC’s dismantling of Internet protections. That law gives Congress the authority to undo any move from a federal agency within 60 days with a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate.
While it’s unlikely the move will gain enough support to actually overturn the FCC’s plan to roll back net neutrality, forcing a Senate vote will give Democrats valuable ammunition to use against Republicans in the 2018 midterms, as they will be able to identify specifically which ones voted against protecting the Internet.
30 is the magic number of cosponsors needed to get a #NetNeutrality vote in the full Senate.
Proud to be that 30th cosponsor of @SenMarkey bill to restore free and open internet.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) January 8, 2018
“We’ve reached the magic number of 30 to secure a vote on the Senate floor, and that number will only continue to climb,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in a statement. “Republicans are faced with a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.”
Though the bill has enough support to force a Senate vote, there’s no guarantee the House would even take up the bill should it somehow manage to pass.
According to recent polls, a whopping 83 percent of Americans support keeping net neutrality protections in place. That’s not an insignificant number and, most importantly, the support comes from people of varying partisan backgrounds and demographics. If Democrats are looking for hot issues to push during the midterms, net neutrality could be one of the most important, carrying even more support from larger numbers of Americans than legalizing marijuana.