Democrats looking to override the Federal Communications Commission’s Dec. 14 decision to repeal net neutrality rules say that they have locked down 50 votes in the Senate.
If one more Republican senator defects and votes for a Senate resolution of disapproval, the bill will pass in the Senate, and Democrats will be one step closer to blocking the FCC’s rollback of Obama-era Internet regulations.
WATCH: 7 Things You Can Still Do On The Internet After The Repeal Of Net Neutrality
But even if the Senate Democrats secure another vote, the bill faces an uphill battle. For the resolution to take effect, proponents would still need to secure the support of the Republican-controlled House, as well as the signature of President Trump.
Under the Congressional Review Act, legislators have 60 days to reverse decisions made by independent agencies. If the resolution passes during this window, it will overturn the FCC’s 3-2 decision and prohibit the agency from passing similar measures in the future.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey is the bill’s sponsor. In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Sen. Markey asserted, “There is a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support to overturn the FCC’s partisan and misguided decision on net neutrality.”
The Senate is split along party lines, with one exception. Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the first Republican to jump ship, siding with the Democrats on Monday to oppose the FCC’s net neutrality repeal.
Spokeswoman Annie Clark told The Hill, “Senator Collins does not support the FCC’s recent decision to repeal net neutrality rules, and she will support Senator Markley’s legislation that would overturn the FCC’s vote.”
Democratic lawmakers say they plan on making net neutrality a critical issue in the 2018 midterms. Some polls find that as many as four in five Americans support the net neutrality policies that the FCC voted to rescind.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “With full caucus support, it’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the Internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options.”
When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the repeal last December, proponents of net neutrality feared that the rollback would allow telecom companies to discriminate between web content and throttle streaming speeds. (RELATED: Here’s What Getting Rid Of Net Neutrality Will Do To Netflix)
But Pai dismissed these concerns, sitting down in an exclusive interview with TheDC to discuss why his critics went “full Spinal Tap,” subjecting him — and his children — to harassment, including racist attacks and bomb threats. (RELATED: ‘Call It Racist’ – FCC Chair Ajit Pai UNLOADS On His ‘Net Neutrality’ Critics))
A day later, Pai fanned the flames when he teamed up with The Daily Caller office to show people that the demise of net neutrality will not kill their favorite stale memes. (RELATED: Ajit Pai Wants The Internet To Know You Can Still Harlem Shake After Net Neutrality)