Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they were just one Republican vote away from the 51-member majority needed to overrule the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to reverse net neutrality regulations.
The FCC coted 3-2 last month to repeal Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules that had imposed utility-style regulation on internet service providers to keep them from favoring their own services over their rivals'.
“It is time for the Internet, once again, to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers rather than lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in remarks before the vote.
Lawmakers have 60 legislative days to reverse the Dec. 14 ruling and have so far solidified 50 votes on the issue, The Washington Post reported.
In addition to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, promising that she would back the effort to overturn the FCC’s ruling, all 49 Democrats have backed repeal, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in statement.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., confirmed having “full caucus support.”
“It’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options," Schumer said.
Democrats will need one more Republican vote for passage in the Senate but even if they achieve that goal, the reversal will need the approval of the Republican-controlled House and President Donald Trump, who backed the December ruling by the FCC.
Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., said he doubted that House Democrats would get a majority vote to overrule the FCC’s decision, Reuters reported. His bill to reverse the vote had just 80 co-sponsors.