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The Senate Only Needs One More Vote to Pass Its Net Neutrality Restoration Bill

And a new bill is moving through the House of Representatives, too.
A pro-net neutrality rally last fall. Image: Free Press

Update: This story has been updated to include the news that there is a new House bill to overturn the FCC's net neutrality decision.

Every Senate Democrat has now pledged support to a bill that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality. Along with the support of Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the Dems need just one more vote for the bill to pass the Senate. And Tuesday, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle said a similar measure in the House already has 83 cosponsors (including Doyle).


The bill, which Senator Ed Markey plans to introduce once the FCC’s new rules are officially published, aims to override the agency’s decision under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If successful, it would overturn that FCC’s decision, reverting the rules back to the original net neutrality protections we’ve had in place since 2015.

This resolution needs a simple majority to win and though the GOP has a majority in the Senate, a handful of Republicans have expressed disapproval of the FCC’s decision. In addition to Collins, Democrats will need to convince another GOP Senator to jump ship.

But after passing the Senate, the bill would still need to pass the Republican-majority House and get signed into law by President Donald Trump—something that would be no small feat, as I’ve previously written.

Tuesday, Pennsylvania Congressperson Mike Doyle announced a bill in the House of Representatives that would use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC's net neutrality decision. The bill mirrors the Senate's and has 82 cosponsors so far. A total of 218 votes will be necessary in the House to pass the bill.

“There’s overwhelming public support for preserving Net Neutrality, so it’s no surprise that there’s strong support in Congress as well. I’m confident that if there’s enough public pressure, Congress will overturn the FCC’s order killing net neutrality,” Doyle said in a statement. “I will continue to seek additional cosponsors in the weeks ahead.”

Still the momentum has net neutrality advocates enthusiastic. They’re pleased to see the debate continuing and point out that regardless of the fate of this bill, the actions of members of Congress surrounding it will make it very clear where they stand on this issue ahead of midterm elections.

"A few weeks ago, everyone thought we would be dragged into some terrible trench warfare over bad net neutrality legislation,” said Evan Greer, the campaign director for Fight for the Future, a nonprofit that supports a free and open internet. “Instead, we have the opposition on the defense, and unprecedented momentum pushing forward the CRA as the only game in town, with a guaranteed vote on the Senate floor where we now only need one more GOP vote. That's a huge deal."

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