Senators Just Passed a Resolution to Restore Net Neutrality

The Congressional Review Act resolution passed with 52-47 votes. Now it goes to the House.
Image: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The US Senate has passed a resolution to restore net neutrality rules. With a 52-47 vote on Wednesday, the Senate passed a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act that overturns the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to scrap free internet rules last year.

Now, the resolution will go to the House for consideration, where it faces an even steeper uphill battle.

At the end of last year, the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules established under President Obama in 2015. These rules prohibited internet service providers from doing things like prioritizing content, throttling service, or blocking websites. On June 11, the FCC’s decision will go into effect, opening the door for Big Telecom to control access to online content as it sees fit. Though many members of Congress have said they would prefer to work on new, Congress-led net neutrality legislation, those in favor of the resolution argued it was necessary to ensure a safety net for consumers until that legislation can be passed.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey originally proposed the idea of a joint resolution under the CRA the same day the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality. By early January, he had enough supporters to ensure it would be put to vote, and as of Wednesday was only one vote shy of the resolution passing. All of the Democratic Senators had already pledged to support the resolution, along with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. On Tuesday, additional Republicans Senators voted in favor of the resolution, which allowed it to pass.

Now, the resolution will be considered in the House where, though there is support for net neutrality, Democrats are vastly outnumbered. If it manages to pass the House, it will still need to be approved by President Trump. But the win in the Senate has ensured one thing: now we know where every Senator stands when it comes to net neutrality. Click here to see which way your Senator voted.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .