Advocates for net neutrality won a symbolic victory Wednesday when the Senate voted 52-47 to preserve Obama-era regulations that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.
"The Senate vote, on the eve of midterms, could have significant political effects", said Marc Martin, a telecom lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington. But in 2015, the day after the FCC enacted the net neutrality rules, McClintock went to the House floor and blasted the agency as "imposing leftist ideology on the internet".
The FCC voted 3-2 to roll back numerous existing net neutrality rules, including those prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or throttling of content, or from selling so-called "fast lanes" for speedier access to consumers. It must still be voted on in the House of Representatives, however, and signed into law by President Trump.
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"I don't see any voters, any new voters, who will come to the polls on this issue", Cruz said.
Still, Democrats argued that net neutrality is needed to make sure that all internet content is treated equally.
Protesters rally past year outside the FCC in Washington in favor of net neutrality rules.
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In order to roll back Pai's plans permanently, campaigners will need to fight it in the House of Representatives, where the Republican party enjoys a much larger majority than it does in the Senate. "The American people have spoken and the American people should listen".
Representatives already began lobbying for the effort in the House, which is now lacking the necessary votes to pass. "There are some small independent ISPs that have a history of making privacy and net neutrality a priority, and if people have the option of patronizing them instead, they should".
Collins announced her support in January, but Kennedy and Murkowski had been undecided.
Kennedy added, "I just think there should be a free and open internet".
Republicans countered that the rules are heavy-handed and an example of government overregulation, and they accused Democrats of using the issue to fire up young voters ahead of this fall's elections.
AT&T said Wednesday it backs an open internet and "actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users".
Thune noted that he was "more than willing to enter into a debate to flawless this piece of legislation" rather than "waste more time, valuable time, in a cloud of uncertainty where one FCC to the next continues to change the rules".