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Net neutrality supporters have publicly protested the FCC's repeal and cheered efforts to role it back. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group led by Senate Democrats have filed a petition Wednesday that will force the body to vote on a resolution rolling back the Republican Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules.

Why it matters: It brings the net neutrality issue back to the fore during a midterm election year, and Democrats hope that will resonate with younger voters.

“By passing my CRA resolution, we restore the rules that ensure Americans aren’t subject to higher prices, slower internet traffic, and even blocked websites because the big internet service providers want to bloat their profits. This upcoming Senate vote will be our opportunity to save net neutrality and deliver the digital future that Americans deserve.”
— Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

How it works:

  • Once the petition is filed, it allows the Senate to vote to debate the measure.
  • After 10 hours of debate, it would come to a vote and, if it passes with a simple majority, head to the House of Representatives.
  • A Democratic congressional source noted a vote on the measure could come as soon as next week, though the deadline for a vote is June 12.

The math: The measure has 50 supporters, including Republican Susan Collins and every Senate Democrat — leaving it one vote short of passage.

  • But, but, but: With 50 votes, the resolution has the support it needs to pass the Senate should John McCain be absent, as has been the case during much of his cancer treatment.

Tech firms that support net neutrality rules — banning internet providers from engaging in blocking, throttling and paid prioritization — will add messages about the issue to their websites starting Wednesday. Participating sites include Etsy and Tumblr. (There have been several events like this over the last year with limited impact.)

Yes, but: The Senate was always the easy part. The measure has a much harder road in the House — and could still be vetoed by President Trump.

Go deeper

59 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

2 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.