Senate votes to protect net neutrality, Cantwell calls for House - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senate votes to protect net neutrality, Cantwell calls for House to take action

Posted: Updated:

5-16-18 UPDATE:

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution backed by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) preserving net neutrality protections for a free and open internet.

“The Senate, in bipartisan fashion today, took the first step forward in preserving the strong internet economy that is seven percent of our GDP, but thirteen percent of the Northwest economy,” said Senator Cantwell. “So I’m pretty sure I heard a pretty loud cheer go up in Seattle.”

The bipartisan resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 52-47 and now moves on to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“We’re doing that because we want to protect what are those strong economies from the artificial slowing down of the internet,” said Senator Cantwell. “That’s why we want the House to act – to protect the American economy.”

In her remarks after the vote, Senator Cantwell also called on President Trump and his administration to support congressional efforts to protect the free and open internet for all Americans.

“There are people within the administration – Earl Comstock – who is also saying that he would like to see the Trump Administration get behind this,” Senator Cantwell said. “So would I.”

Last week, Senator Cantwell officially filed a discharge petition to force today’s vote on net neutrality and block the FCC’s partisan repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Rule, which prevents internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against online content. A recent poll showed that 83% of Americans oppose the FCC’s action to repeal net neutrality rules.

CRA resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions taken by federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.

The broadcast quality video of Senator Cantwell’s press conference can be found HERE.

The video can also be found on YouTube HERE.

A full transcript of Senator Cantwell’s remarks can be found below:

CANTWELL: Thank you. It’s great to be with here with Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer, and my colleagues from the House of Representatives.

The Senate, in bipartisan fashion today, took the first step forward in preserving the strong internet economy that is seven percent of our GDP, but thirteen percent of the Northwest economy. So I’m pretty sure I heard a pretty loud cheer go up in Seattle.

We’re doing that because we want to protect what are those strong economies from the artificial slowing down of the internet. But I’m pretty sure our House colleagues are going to side with big cable companies who are hoping that the public did not notice that the Trump-era FCC rolled back strong internet protections. That is why we need the House to take action, to protect the consumers and businesses that will be affected by all of this, and to protect that strong innovation economy.

I know people think that highest pricing, or pricing at the highest bidder, well it might work at Christie’s if you’re having an art auction, but it certainly doesn’t work when you are trying to cover a network of internet service and you want essential service for hospitals and educators and small businesses. That’s why we want the House to act – to protect the American economy.

I will also note, while some people want to know how this bill is going to move forward, there are people within the administration – Earl Comstock – who is also saying that he would like to see the Trump Administration get behind this. So would I.

Thank you, and now I turn it over to my dear colleague, who also fights for the strong internet economy that we so care about on the Northwest and in California, Representative Anna Eshoo.

-----------------------

5-16-18 ORIGINAL STORY:

WASHINGTON -

3:30 p.m.
  
The Senate has voted to kill a Federal Communications Commission rule that repealed the Obama administration's ban on internet providers blocking or slowing down certain content.
  
Back in December, the FCC repealed "net neutrality" rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic.
  
The Obama-era rule prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Critics, including the Trump administration, said over-regulation was stifling innovation.
  
Three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to repeal the FCC rule that was scheduled to go into effect next month. The final vote was 52-47.
  
Democrats are hoping to energize young voters who support the principle of net neutrality, though the GOP-controlled House is unlikely to go along with the effort.
  
____
  
1 p.m.
  
The Senate is poised to approve legislation designed to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's effort to deregulate the internet.
  
Back in December, the FCC repealed an Obama-era rule known as "net neutrality" rule, junking the principle of equal treatment for all web traffic.
  
The rule had prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps.
  
Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to overturn the rule, saying it discouraged investment and innovation.
  
The Senate is expected to pass a resolution from Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., that would reverse the FCC's decision. But the House isn't likely to take it up.
  
Still, Democrats see their effort as something that will energize young voters who value unfettered access to the internet.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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