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Senate Democrats to Force Net Neutrality Vote On May 9

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May 1, 2018, 7:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

Senate Democrats are looking to make net neutrality a campaign issue heading into the 2018 mid-term elections and will kick things off May 9 with a vote. Sen. Ed Markey (D) has amassed a total of 50 supporters in the Senate, all 49 Democrats and Republican Susan Collins of Maine. Democrats will need at least one more Republican to cross the aisle to halt the FCC's repeal of net neutrality. Even if the vote is successful, the Senate bid would likely fail in the Republican-held House of Representatives and, more importantly, on the desk of President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) agrees with the FCC's decision to repeal net neutrality, as does President Trump. The main goal, however, is to force Democrats and Republicans alike to go on the record with what they support. "There will be a political price to pay for those who are on the wrong side of history," said Markey. The FCC's repeal of Obama-era net neutrality laws reclassifies broadband as an information service, rather than as a utility. It also does away with the bright line rules regarding behaviors such as throttling and paid prioritization in favor of a self-policing approach. The FCC is being sued on multiple fronts from multiple organizations over the changes. Moreover, individual U.S. states have begun to put their own net neutrality laws in place.

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