The following is a press release from U.S. Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who represents Framingham:
WASHINGTON DC – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, announced today,January 9, 43 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.
Thirty members are needed to send the CRA to the floor for a vote and a simple majority is needed for its passage.
“Last month, the FCC turned a deaf ear to millions of Americans standing up for a free and open internet and instead gutted net neutrality,” said Markey. “The anti-consumer regulations passed by the Trump administration takes away a fundamental right that ensures the internet is a diverse, dynamic and open to everyone. We can force a vote to restore net neutrality and level the playing field away from the big corporations. There will be a political price to pay for those on the wrong side of history. Momentum is on our side.”
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.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), 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), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: “Eliminating neutrality and a fair and open internet undermines entrepreneurialism and crowds out the creativity that has been the engine of extraordinary innovation and an engine of economic growth. Millennials were born into a world with the free and open internet and it’s as integral to their daily lives as a morning cup of coffee. So when the administration rips it from their hands and hands it over to the big Internet Service Providers on a silver platter, millennials will know that Republicans were responsible – and can you can bet Democrats will make sure they know it.”
Senator Patrick Leahy: “By repealing strong Net Neutrality rules, the FCC enthusiastically endorsed a pay-to-play internet. Small businesses and consumers in rural areas like Vermont stand to lose the most in this new online order. I’m proud to join Senator Markey in fighting to reinstate net neutrality rules and I look forward to pressing for approval of this resolution.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “The decision by the FCC to give the biggest corporations much more control over what people see on the Internet was shameful,” said Senator Gillibrand.“We must protect consumers from the biggest service providers who could decide which sites are fast and which sites are slow with little oversight. This is an attack on free speech, it’s a disturbing example of the corrupt relationship between corporations and the government, and I urge all of my colleagues to join this resolution and overturn this vote by the FCC.”