Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s US Senators, Sen Patrick Leahy (D) and Sen Bernie Sanders (I), are among those who have helped reach the milestone of 40 senators joining Senator Edward J Markey (D-Mass) in signing on in support of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to overturn 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, Markey and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear they will force a vote on the resolution to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order. Thirty senators 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.”
Leahy, a longtime champion of net neutrality, had brought the Judiciary Committee to Vermont several years ago to hear testimony from small Vermont businesses, librarians and ordinary Vermonters about the importance of net neutrality to Vermont. Leahy said: “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.”
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 signing on to cosponsor the CRA resolution include Markey, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 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.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), 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) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).
Source: WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, Jan. 9, 2018) – Sanders & Leahy