US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined how he is hoping to force a bill that will reinstate the FCC’s net neutrality rules and stop the net neutrality repeal using legal mechanism, known as Congressional Review Act (CRA).
While the idea of net neutrality repeal act is widely welcomed by tech top-guns, the idea of handing over total control of accessibility of internet to the ISPs is still unwelcomed by common people. As per the repeal passed by FCC’s Republican commissioners last week, it gives away complete ability to legally block, throttle content, reduce speed and create fast lanes for companies willing to pay more to have their services delivered at faster speeds. But the high-profile war of net neutrality isn’t yet over because the Democrats will try to save net neutrality – using the same weapons once used by Republicans to stop Obama-era regulations; the CRA.
As per the terms of CRA, a newly adopted rule can be brought down using a petition of 30 Senators. Once the petition is presented, any member may bring it to a vote on the floor, with only a simple majority needed to pass, and a limit of 10 hours of debate – making it filibuster-proof. If the resolution somehow succeeds, the Democratic Party will declare a major victory and the Obama-era rules enforcing net neutrality will survive. If the resolution fails, the blame will fall squarely on Republicans, who by all accounts are drastically underestimating how much of an issue net neutrality may be in the coming elections. So it is a win-win scenario for Democrats.
This will drastically affect the Republicans in next elections. However, President Donald Trump can veto the bill and make it a law anyway. This means, a supermajority—a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate – will be needed. So all eyes will be on Republicans, who might need to turn their backs on the White House and their party leaders who support FCC’s net neutrality repeal. The question here is, will Republicans stand by Trump, or will they turn their backs to appeal votes?