In Fight to Protect Open Internet, Senators Cantwell, Murray Mark Milestone in Effort to Reverse FCC’s Net Neutrality Decision

Entire Senate Democratic caucus now cosponsoring legislation to reverse FCC’s recent vote, fully restore 2015 Open Internet Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Democrats, including U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), announced today that the legislation to overturn the FCC’s recent vote to repeal the net neutrality rule now has the support of all 49 Democrats in the United States Senate. Today’s announcement is the latest milestone in the Democrats’ fight to stand up for average consumers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld in 2016. The Open Internet Order prohibited internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against content online. Repealing the net neutrality rules could lead to higher prices for consumers, slower internet traffic, and even blocked websites.

The resolution of disapproval, which now has the support of the entire Senate Democratic caucus, would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s item and fully restore the Open Internet Order. 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 after the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register and then force a vote within 60 legislative days.

“It’s time for our Republican colleagues to decide whether they stand with big corporations who are trying to slow down innovation and job creation or stand on the side of consumers and the businesses and innovators of our future,” said Senator Cantwell. “We cannot allow the FCC to put a choke hold on the internet by allowing big corporations to create artificial fast lanes or charge consumers more. The open internet rule was created to protect a level playing field and to make sure no one can throttle access or block content.”

“The FCC’s backward decision to roll back internet protections for consumers is as shameful and wrong today as it was last December. Washington state families, students, innovators and entrepreneurs have continuously raised their voices against the Trump Administration’s repeated attempts to turn public goods into more money-making opportunities for the largest corporations, and the FCC’s vote to change the internet as we know it is no exception,” said Senator Murray. “As a voice for Washington state, I will continue fighting with every tool at my disposal to keep the internet free and open.”

Prior to the FCC’s decision, Senators Cantwell and Murray had previously criticized the FCC’s plan to undo net neutrality and urged the FCC to delay their vote, citing the unknown impact of their decision on students and schools in a letter to Chairman Pai last December.