Maine Senators Susan Collins, Angus King Back Net Neutrality

By on January 11, 2018

The proposal to undo the FCC’s recent rollback of net neutrality protections is continuing to gain steam in the Senate, with both of Maine’s Senators saying the back a plan by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) to invalidate the FCC’s action.

Sen. Angus King (I-MA) isn’t really much of a surprise. The former Maine governor is an independent, but he caucuses with the Democratic Party and typically votes with them on most major issues.

Collins, however, is a Republican. If she holds true to her support, that would mean that Democrats only need to sway one more GOP Senator to their side to pass the bill.

The Bangor Daily News has comments from both Senators on the issue.

“The FCC’s recent action to repeal net neutrality threatens to undermine its positive impact by stifling innovation and putting access and connection speeds for sale to the highest bidder,” said King in a prepared statement. “It is crucial we defend net neutrality and I will work to ensure that this misguided repeal is never implemented.”

Collins said through a spokeswoman, Annie Clark, that she also would support Markey’s legislation.

“She believes that a careful, deliberative process involving experts and the public is warranted to ensure that consumers have strong protections that guarantee consumer choice, free markets and continued growth.”

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey is attempting to use the Congressional Review Act to overrule the FCC’s plan to de-regulate the Internet. Even if the plan does pass the Senate, it must also pass the House. If the bill survives both chambers, it would still need to be signed by President Donald Trump, which is probably not likely given that he has been outspokenly supportive of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to destroy net neutrality protections.

Most importantly, however, the move will be a big issue for voters as the 2018 midterms approach. If they play their cards right, Democrats will be able to leverage pressure against members of the GOP Congress who don’t vote in support of net neutrality.