Chuck Schumer pledges to force vote on resolution to reverse FCC’s net neutrality repeal
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threw his weight behind an effort to undo the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of net neutrality rules using the Congressional Review Act, vowing to force a vote to do so.
During a press conference in New York City on Friday, Schumer, D-N.Y., said he supports the plan from fellow Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC’s action, which took place Thursday.
Markey announced after the vote he would introduce a CRA resolution that would restore the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which ensure all web traffic is treated equally. Nineteen Senate Democrats, including Schumer, signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution.
“This resolution will help us hit control-alt-delete on the FCC’s decision,” Schumer said Friday.
The New York Democrat said the resolution wouldn’t need the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Schumer pledged to force a vote on the measure.
“It’s in our power to do that, and that’s the beauty of the CRA rule,” Schumer said. “Sometimes we don’t like them, when [Republicans] used it to repeal some of the pro-environment regulations. But now we can use the CRA to our benefit, and we intend to.”
Republicans used the CRA at the beginning of the year to undo a number of regulations issued by federal agencies under the Obama administration.
CRA resolutions need only a simple majority in the House and Senate to pass, and have to be signed by the president.
Republicans control both chambers of Congress, and it’s unclear how many GOP lawmakers support the net neutrality rules and would back a CRA resolution reversing the FCC’s action.
A handful of House Republicans said they supported the principles of net neutrality after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last month his plan for the commission to vote to repeal the rules.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the only GOP senator to come out against the rollback.
It’s also unclear whether Trump would sign a CRA resolution reversing the FCC’s action on net neutrality. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Thursday the Trump administration backs the FCC’s efforts to repeal “burdensome regulations,” but said it supports a “free and fair Internet.”
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.