U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senate Democrats in announcing that 40 senators have signed on to co-sponsor a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval that overturns the anti-consumer regulations passed in December by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and supported by Donald Trump to end net neutrality. At a press conference in the Capitol attended by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer—among others—Democrats made clear they will “force a vote” on the resolution to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order. 30 members are needed to send the CRA to the floor for a vote and a simple majority is needed for its passage.
“Maintaining a free and open internet is crucial for our democracy and our economy, and I was deeply disappointed by the FCC’s decision to undermine net neutrality protections,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Net neutrality creates a level playing field for all companies to compete and guarantees an internet for all Americans, not just those who can afford to pay more. This move will stifle competition and put large corporate interests ahead of innovators, small businesses, and American consumers. I’m proud to join my colleagues in standing for consumers’ rights, and I urge the Senate to act on this issue immediately.”
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. A recent poll showed that 83 percent of Americans do not approve of the FCC action to repeal net neutrality rules.
Senators co-sponsoring the CRA resolution include Markey, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.), Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-O.H.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).