Cantwell Responds to FCC Net Neutrality Decision with Legislation to Block Repeal of Open Internet Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, and 15 of her Senate colleagues joined together to announce their plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would undo today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undermine the free and open internet and thus restore the 2015 net neutrality rules.

“Today’s decision threatens our booming innovation economy,” said Senator Cantwell. “It’s impossible to know where the next big companies will come from, which makes an open and free internet all the more important to innovators, entrepreneurs and job creators – especially in the tech-driven Pacific Northwest.”

Overturning the net neutrality rules threatens the principles that built America’s booming internet economy and opens the door for cable companies and internet service providers to start slowing down and blocking content, applications or websites, without consequences.

CRA resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions at federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, the Senators will formally introduce the resolution once the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register. The CRA resolution of disapproval would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s action and fully restore the Open Internet Order. Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) plans to introduce a CRA resolution in the House of Representatives. 

Other Senators co-sponsoring the CRA resolution include Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D–CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jack Reed (D-RI)

In the Senate, Cantwell has been a leader in the struggle to establish and protect net neutrality and equal access to the internet. She was an early advocate for the FCC to take up net neutrality and used her position as a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee to keep continuous pressure on the Commission during the drafting and implementation of the rules.