U.S. Senate Votes to Block the FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal

In a highly symbolic vote, the U.S. Senate has now voted to block the FCC’s net neutrality repeal by approving a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution.

The U.S. Senate just sent a stunning message to the FCC, major ISPs, and the Trump Administration.  It turns out that repealing net neutrality will be a little more difficult than they imagined.

Just this (Wednesday) afternoon, the Senate has voted 52-47 in favor of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s net neutrality rollback.  The CRA enables Congressional oversight over agencies like the FCC, a critical balance of power.

That doesn’t nullify the rollback — far from it.  But it does make its passage far more complicated.

Originally, Senate Democrats were only able to muster the support of one Republican: Susan Collins (R-Maine).  That would have created a 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence almost certain to reject the measure.  But once the issue was put to a vote, John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also voted yes, which was enough to solidly approve the measure.

The Republican ‘defectors’ seem surprising at first.  But net neutrality is becoming a major public issue, one that could make the difference in tight midterm elections.  Now, every single Senator — Democrat, Republican, or Independent — has been forced to cast a vote on the matter and defend that vote on the campaign trail.

The surprising result bodes well for the CRA’s chances in the House, once considered a long shot.

Now, the House has become the next battlefield, with net neutrality defenders targeting Republicans on the fence.

“Now that the CRA resolution has passed the Senate, every House member has a choice to make: will they side with some of the most hated companies in America, or will they listen to the overwhelming majority of their constituents and small businesses in their districts, and vote to keep the Internet free from censorship, throttling, and expensive new fees,” wrote Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, one of several organizations fighting to preserve net neutrality in America.

In an email to Digital Music News, Fight for the Future outlined an astonishing level of community pressure on Congress.

Overall, net neutrality supporters submitted more than 16 million messages to Congress through BattleForTheNet.com alone, with all of them calling on lawmakers to stop the FCC repeal.  Beyond that, more than 6,000 small businesses signed an open letter in support of the CRA, while also crowdfunding billboards and newspaper ads protesting the FCC’s ‘big business’ legislation.

Online, thousands of websites and apps, including Etsy, Tumblr, Tinder, Foursquare, Reddit, and OK Cupid, plastered their sites with ‘Red Alert’ pop-ups.  Even Pornhub joined the action.

Fight for the Future also compiled a list of every Senator who voted no on the CRA — as well as the amount of money they’ve received from ISPs.

Blunt, Roy (R-MO) — $1,283,416
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) — $1,119,163
Thune, John (R-SD) — $928,428
Burr, Richard (R-NC) — $733,127
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) — $727,219
Wicker, Roger (R-MS) — $724,850
Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT) — $677,830
Cornyn, John (R-TX) — $622,125
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) — $532,461
Gardner, Cory (R-CO) — $523,378
Cochran, Thad(R-MS) — $516,280
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) — $485,442
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) — $463,350
Shelby, Richard C (R-AL) — $443,610
Toomey, Pat (R-PA) — $442,778
Heller, Dean (R-NV) — $440,750
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) — $425,850
Portman, Rob (R-OH) — $421,058
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) — $391,679
Fischer, Deb (R-NE) — $381,550
Cruz, Ted (R-TX) — $322,505
Barrasso, John A (R-WY) — $311,200
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) — $304,559
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) — $292,268
Scott, Tim (R-SC) — $275,049
Flake, Jeff (R-AZ) — $268,500
Lee, Mike (R-UT) — $256,250
Johnson, Ron (R-WI) — $242,730
Inhofe, James M (R-OK) — $231,659
Boozman, John (R-AR) — $228,050
Enzi, Mike (R-WY) — $209,396
Corker, Bob (R-TN) — $192,325
Daines, Steven (R-MT) — $189,800
Cotton, Tom (R-AR) — $177,660
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV) — $171,699
Cassidy, Bill (R-LA) — $163,999
Perdue, David (R-GA) — $133,450
Tillis, Thom (R-NC) — $124,700
Sullivan, Dan (R-AK) — $123,650
Rounds, Mike (R-SD) — $120,898
Young, Todd (R-IN) — $118,650
Lankford, James (R-OK) — $116,550
Paul, Rand (R-KY) — $116,278
Hoeven, John (R-ND) — $108,520
Sasse, Ben (R-NE) — $75,950
Risch, James E (R-ID) — $59,750
Ernst, Joni (R-IA) — $44,500


More as this develops.