The U.S. House of Representatives voted to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules, but prospects for the bill in the Senate look dim.
The new bill would reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules that prohibited blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of the internet.
The vote was 232-190, with 231 Democrats and one Republican supporting the bill, while 190 Republicans voted against it. Four Democrats and six Republicans did not vote.
While the bill has passed the House, it has dim prospects of passing the Senate or Trump. White House staffers have already recommended that the president veto the bill, saying net neutrality’s repeal spurred new broadband growth.
Data released by the FCC does not support that conclusion.
The ‘Save the Internet Act’ is unlikely to even reach the point at which the president could veto it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that the bill is dead on arrival on the Senate floor.
Despite those prospects, Democratic leaders pushed the bill heavily in the House. Passage in the House was expected, thanks to a Democratic majority of 235-197 in the lower chamber. Several Democrats spoke yesterday supporting the passage of the bill, saying the provision is just common sense.
“Each of us should be able to decide what videos we watch, which sites we read, and which services we use. Nobody should be able to influence that choice—not the government and not the large companies that run the networks.”
– Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Democrats argue that net neutrality boosts the economy by ensuring that small businesses can reach consumers on the Internet. Republicans introduced their own watered-down version of a net neutrality bill that failed, though the measure was largely a way to protect existing repeals.
Republicans also tried to gut the Save the Internet Act by including amendments that would exempt many broadband providers from the new rules.
The bill that passed in the House would restore net neutrality rules as they existed from June 2015 to June 2018.