Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed that the repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order would go into effect on June 11. But Democrats put forth a resolution to use its power under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to review new regulations by federal agencies through an expedited legislative process.
Under the CRA, only a simple majority is needed to pass legislation. Just a single Republican was required to vote in favour of restoring net neutrality rules. However, Senators Susan Collins, John Kennedy, and Lisa Murkowski all broke from their GOP colleagues and ensured that the resolution passed.
In order for net neutrality to actually be reinstated, two more things have to happen. First, the House has to use the CRA to overturn the policy as well. That’s even harder. Instead of 30 signatures, net neutrality supporters have to collect signatures from a full majority of House members. Even if they get every single Democrat on board they’d still need the support of 22 Republicans. And finally, if that happened and they all voted to reverse the policy, it’d still have to get signed by President Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump, who is not a fan of the policy.
But the midterm elections are coming up and even the Republicans are worried about not backing popular legilistation. For this reason, the telcos have been spending a fortune on bribes... er lobbying. The idea being that who has the largest election campaign chest is more likely to win even if they are backing unpopular policies.
Trump might change his mind of course... much depends on what he had for breakfast.