May 16, 2018

Senate approves resolution restoring net neutrality rules

Two people carry a large imitation alarm clock that says "net neutrality"

Net neutrality protestors put pressure on Republicans to vote for the resolution rolling back the repeal. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday approved a resolution that rolls back the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality rules that required internet providers treat all content in the same way.

The big picture: The resolution doesn’t have much of a chance in the House — but Democrats are hoping that it puts the issue front and center with voters.

The details: The measure passed 52-47. Republicans Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), John Kennedy (La.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) backed the resolution, with neither Kennedy nor Murkowski voicing support before Wednesday. The resolution restores rules that ban internet service providers from blocking or throttling content or providing paid fast lanes.

  • "This vote comes down to one thing and one thing only: the extent to which you trust your cable company," Kennedy told reporters after the vote.
  • He said the pressure put on him by activists who supported the measure had not been a factor in his decision.

What they’re saying: Sen. Brian Schatz pushed back on the idea that the restoration effort has limited chance in the House. “I would also point out that a lot of the Republican primaries are over, and some of these Republicans running in tough districts are going to be looking for opportunities to distinguish themselves as independent thinkers and this provides them that opportunity,” he said after a procedural vote earlier in the day.

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