The senate bill to block the FCC repeal of Obama-era internet net neutrality rules now has 40 co-sponsors, up from the 30 co-sponsors it had yesterday. The bill, being driven by Senate minority Democrats, requires only a simple majority vote in order to be passed, although Washington insiders are currently predicting the bill will fail. "The bill would use authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC's repeal from going into effect," reports The Hill. "And with more than 30 senators on board, the legislation will be able to bypass the committee approval process and Democrats will be able to force a vote on the floor."
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer now says Democrats in the Senate are a single vote away from restoring net neutrality. According to the senator from New York, they now have a total of 50 votes for a Senate resolution of disapproval that would restore the Open Internet Order of 2015 and deliver a stiff rebuke to Ajit Pai and other Republican members of the FCC. It would also prevent the agency from passing a similar measure in the future, all but guaranteeing Net Neutrality is permanently preserved. Right now the resolution has the support of all 49 Democrats in the Senate and one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine. But Schumer and the rest of the caucus will have to win over one more Republican vote to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from breaking tie and allowing the repeal to stand.
Under the Congressional Review Act, the Senate has 60 days to challenge a decision by an independent agency like the FCC. Democrats have less than 30 days to convince a "moderate" like John McCain or Lindsey Graham to buck their party.
The Federal Communications Commission is working toward officially taking current net neutrality rules off the books. The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups.
Senate Democrats have also been pushing for a special congressional vote to block regulations from going into effect, but have so far been one vote short of overcoming the Republican majority. A similar vote would also face a very high hurdle in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives....
Any meaningful legislation at the Federal level will have to wait until after the 2018 elections. The GOP is so fanatical in its fealty to major donors, they are willing to discard the Constitution and their own sacred policy positions to placate big business and wealthy people. Net neutrality is antagonistic to corporate monetization of the internet, so it is a high-value target. The only solution is to vote them out of office, which seems quite likely, given how Trump's supporters are beginning to recognize him as a deranged liar with a pro-one-percenter agenda.
California is poised to enact state-level legislation that would require net neutrality rules for any telecommunications companies doing business in those state.
In response to that (and other things) Trump says he is prepared to punish California by calling back border patrol guards, and allowing "Mexican rapists" to rampage and pillage the state.
Trump borrowed that tactic from Roman Emperor Caracalla, who turned his troops loose to sack the city of Alexandria because they had mocked him in a theatrical play.
Trump is Caligular and Caracallan. His sons are Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber.
The biggest lobby groups representing broadband providers will help the FCC defend the repeal of net neutrality rules in court. Ars Technica reports:
Yesterday, three trade groups that collectively represent every major home Internet and mobile broadband provider in the U.S. filed motions to intervene in the case on behalf of the FCC. The motions for leave to intervene were filed by NCTA--The Internet & Television Association, CTIA--The Wireless Association, and USTelecom--The Broadband Association. NCTA represents cable companies such as Comcast, Charter, Cox, and Altice. CTIA represents the biggest mobile carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint. USTelecom represents wireline telcos with copper and fiber networks, such as AT&T and Verizon. All three groups also represent a range of smaller ISPs.
As intervenors in the case, the groups will file briefs in support of the net neutrality repeal order and may play a role in oral arguments. NCTA's motion noted that its members would once again be subject to "common-carriage regulation under Title II of the Communications Act" if the FCC were to lose the case. CTIA said that its members "would be adversely affected if the [net neutrality] Order were set aside and the prior Title II Order classification and rules were reinstated."