US Senate votes to save net neutrality

The US Senate has voted in favor of net neutrality by approving a Congressional Review Act resolution that would undo the Federal Communications Commission’s December decision to dismantle the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

US Senate net neutrality

The FCC’s decision is set to come in effect on June 11, allowing Internet service providers to set up Internet “fast lanes” for online services willing to pay for it and “slow lanes” for the rest, directly affecting their quality of service.

The Senate’s vote

47 of the Senate Republicans voted to keep FCC’s decision in place.

All the Senate Democrats and Independents voted against it, and were joined by three Republican Senators: Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. That brought the number of Yea’s to 52. (Republican Senator John McCain was not present and did not vote.)

A vote summary can be viewed here.

What now?

Following the Senate’s vote, the question of whether net neutrality should be saved will be posed to the US House of Representatives. If a simple majority of the latter decide for it, the resolution will be sent to President Donald Trump, who can either sign it or veto it.

There is not much hope that the resolution will pass the House of Representatives, as Republicans there outnumber Democrates considerably.

Nevertheless, net neutrality proponents are satisfied with the current victory, noting that the American public finally knows the official position of all Senators on the matter. It is unknown when the same question will be put to the House.

Democrats are hoping that this will help their nominees get the best of Republican ones in the November 2018 midterm elections, when all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested.

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