A bill that would protect the FCC’s net neutrality rules from being repealed passed a key procedural hurdle by a 52-47 vote, clearing the way for a final vote Wednesday afternoon.
Three Republicans joined the 49 Democrats in voting to begin debate on the measure.
Democrats are forcing the vote using a legislative tool called the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress, with the president’s signature, to overturn recent decisions from federal agencies.
The Republican-controlled FCC voted in December to repeal the rules, which require internet service providers to give equal footing to all web traffic. Democrats argue that scrapping the rules will give ISPs free reign to suppress certain content or promote sites that pay them.
“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,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHow the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns lawmakers with push to help Chinese company | Facebook suspends 200 apps over data practices | Dems want answers on Cohen payments | Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday Harry Reid undergoes surgery for pancreatic cancer MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement last week when announcing that Democrats would be forcing the vote.
Democrats have at least one Republican on board with the bill in Sen. Susan CollinsJohn McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump gives GOP midterm pep talk Overnight Defense: North Korea warns it could pull out of Trump summit | Warner backs Haspel, clearing way for confirmation | Haley blames Iran, Hamas for Gaza violence Rand Paul asks Haspel about any CIA surveillance of Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) home fighting brain cancer, it appears that they have the numbers to get the bill through the Senate.Susan Margaret CollinsMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees Republican senator threatens to call on Pruitt to resign Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns lawmakers with push to help Chinese company | Facebook suspends 200 apps over data practices | Dems want answers on Cohen payments | Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday MORE (Maine). And with Sen.
Sens. Lisa MurkowskiJohn KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) also voted in favor to begin debate on the bill, a sign that Democrats may have secured their support for the actual legislation. The Louisiana Republican had been evasive about which way he’ll vote, telling reporters as recently as Lisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules Congress was just handed a blueprint for solving Puerto Rico’s debt crisis MORE (R-Alaska) and Tuesday that he was undecided.
But getting it to the floor of the House will be another matter. House Democrats will need 25 Republicans to join them in backing the bill in order to force a vote in the lower chamber.