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S.J.Res.52 - Resolution to reinstate "Net Neutrality"

Congress man and Senator Ed Markey speaking at a Congressinal event in front of the American flag.

Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Restoring Internet Freedom”

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that the FCC’s decision to dismantle net neutrality will ultimately harm American individuals and businesses who rely on a free and open internet service. The roll back of the net neutrality rules will ultimately benefit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and not the American consumer, since ISPs can now charge extra for so-called “slow lanes” and “fast lanes,” they can block certain content to users, and can charge for access to different websites.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe the Obama-era Net Neutrality provisions were a heavy regulation of the Internet which needed to be dismantled to begin with. The rollback of net neutrality rules will be beneficial to the American consumer since it will give Internet Service Providers the freedom to speed up, slow down, or block certain content from the internet and provide more purchase options to the consumer.

Watch Sen. Markey defend the bill on the Senate floor.

05/07/18 UPDATE: Democrats will formally file the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the congressional tool used for dismantling regulations, on Wednesday May 9th. All 49 democratic Senators approve the bill along with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). Only one more vote is needed for the resolution to pass. Advocates of the resolution are planning a massive day of action on net neutrality and will be focused on securing the one more vote needed to pass Senator Markey’s CRA resolution.

“In 2018, access to a free and open internet isn’t a privilege, it’s a right,” said Senator Markey. “Since the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality, we have witnessed a historic movement emerge to protect that right, and it continues to build. With only one more vote needed for my CRA resolution to undo the Trump administration’s political decision on net neutrality, Republicans have a choice – stand with the overwhelming number of Americans who support net neutrality or side with the corporate interests who only care about their bottom line. The day of reckoning in the Senate on net neutrality is coming, and Republicans are on notice.”

“We’re in the homestretch in the fight to save net neutrality,” said Senate Democratic Leader Schumer. “Soon, the American people will know which side their member of congress is on: fighting for big corporations and ISPs or defending small business owners, entrepreneurs, middle-class families, and everyday consumers.”

According to the Republican Policy Committee, Republican senators support requirements that would ensure consumers are protected and provide guidance to the market. Arguing that the way to impose these requirements is through targeted legislation, rather than with "antiquated rules like Title II." Title II is the legal foundation for what is commonly referred to Net Neutrality, which are Obama-era established rules for Internet Service Providers.

12/14/18 UPDATE: With only a week left to go on the Congressional calendar, Congress has a slim chance of forcing a vote on the resolution needed to reverse Net Neutrality. The House is 38 signatures short on forcing a vote on a resolution which could reverse the dismantlement of net neutrality.

S.J.Res.52 was passed by the Senate on May 16th, 2018, but has since sat on the House floor, alongside H.J.Res.129, an identical version of the Senate bill that have been since introduced in the House. A vote could be forced if 218 congress members sign a discharge petition, which around 180 representatives have already signed it.

The deadline to force a vote was originally December 10th, 2018, but the recent budget negotiations have stretched the calendar until December 21st, meaning lawmakers have one last chance to reverse the FCC's decision to end net neutrality.

The chances of forcing a vote are slim, but not impossible. H.J.Res.129 currently holds 171 cosponsors of the 218 signatures needed to force a vote on the resolution. This means that a few republicans would have to join almost every democrat just to force a vote on the resolution.

Fight for the Future, a group supporting to restore net neutrality, Deputy Director Evan Greer said that “now that the session has been extended by two weeks there are theoretically ways that House rules could be used to still force a vote with a majority signed on to the discharge petition.”

Not every Democrat has signed the discharge petition. GQ released a report calling out the 17 Democrats who have refused to sign unto the discharge petition, titling it "Corporate-Friendly Democrats Are Standing in the Way of Reviving Net Neutrality", mainly calling out Rep. Scanlon from Pennsylvania, who received corporate money from Comcast.

Since, Rep. Scanlon signed discharge petition after pressure from her constituency.

"Thank you to the constituents who have reached out on this important issue. I’ve decided to sign onto the discharge petition and have asked to be included on this legislative initiative moving forward," wrote Rep. Scanlon on Twitter.

S.J.Res.52 would nullify the rule imposed by the FCC known as “Restoring Internet Freedom,” which dismantled Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as AT&T, Comcast, or Verizon, and government entities regulating the web, must treat all data speed of the internet the same without discriminating certain websites based on the content, platform, application, or type of equipment being used to support the site. Now that the protections were eliminated by the FCC, ISP’s can now legally charge different pricing for so-called “slow lanes” and “fast lanes,” block certain content to users, and charge for access to different websites, among other things. ISPs would now be entitled to charge both consumers for the internet access and website holders for different speed access to their website.

Democrats are using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) as a tool to dismantle the FCC’s rule. Republicans have dismantled 14 Obama-era regulations using the same method. The CRA allows Congress to dismantle any agency’s rule within 60 days of their publication by a simple majority vote. With 48 cosponsors, the bill would need 3 republicans votes to pass.

“President Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai might want to end the internet as we know it, but we won’t agonize, we will organize,” said sponsor of the legislation Senator Markey. “The grassroots movement to reinstate net neutrality is growing by the day, and we will get that one more vote needed to pass my CRA resolution. I urge my Republicans colleagues to join the overwhelming majority of Americans who support a free and open internet. The internet is for all – the students, teachers, innovators, hard-working families, small businesses, and activists, not just Verizon, Charter, AT&T, and Comcast and corporate interests.”

“The FCC handed the keys, car, and steering wheel over to big corporations and ISPs at the expense of middle-class Americans,” said Senate Democratic Leader Schumer. “That’s why Senate Democrats today are announcing our CRA that will offer Republicans in Congress - for the first time - an opportunity to right this administration’s wrong and reinstate the FCC’s Open Internet Order. It’s time the Republicans show the American people whose side they’re on: big ISPs and major corporations or consumers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.”


Sponsored by: Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 46 Dem / 2 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.

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