SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Senate Votes to Bring Back Net Neutrality

Democrats were joined by three Republicans for a 52-47 vote to uphold Net Neutrality—but a House vote remains uncertain.

Posted: May 16, 2018 1:50 PM
Updated: May 16, 2018 1:57 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats, joined by three Republicans, pushed through a measure Wednesday intended to revive Obama-era internet rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic, though opposition in the House and the White House seems insurmountable.

Republicans on the short end of the 52-47 vote described the effort to reinstate "net neutrality" rules as "political theater" because the GOP-controlled House is not expected to take up the issue and the Senate's margin could not overcome a presidential veto.

Democrats, however, were undeterred, saying their push would energize young voters who are tech savvy and value unfettered access to the internet. "This is a defining vote. The most important vote we're going to have in this generation on the internet," said Democratic Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who sponsored the measure.

At issue are rules that the Federal Communications Commission repealed in December that prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Critics, including the Trump administration, said overregulation was stifling innovation, and they backed the FCC's move, which is still set to take effect next month.

Markey said net neutrality has worked for the smallest voices and the largest, but he said internet service providers are trying to change the rules to benefit their interests.

Republicans said they were willing to work with Democrats on enshrining the principle of net neutrality in legislation. But they wanted to also ensure that regulatory efforts didn't get in the way of innovation and quickly evolving internet services.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the internet thrived long before the Obama administration stepped in with rules in 2015, and he predicted that when the FCC repeal is in place, consumers won't notice a change in their service.

"That's what we're going back to: rules that were in place for two decades under a light-touch regulatory approach that allowed the internet to explode and prosper and grow," Thune said.

But the FCC's move has stirred fears among consumer advocates that cable and phone giants will be free to block access to services they don't like or set up "fast lanes" for preferred services — in turn, relegating everyone else to "slow lanes."

Joining all Democratic senators in voting to reverse the FCC's action were GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

In recent months, Republicans have used the tools made available in the Congressional Review Act to overturn several environmental, health and safety rules put into place in the final months of the Obama administration. This time, however, it was Democrats who led the effort to kill a rule supported by the Trump administration.

"This is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable to all Americans," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.


Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4131

Reported Deaths: 151
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah112159
Marion94225
Washington72217
Clackamas30511
Deschutes1210
Linn1159
Umatilla1143
Polk9811
Yamhill697
Lane682
Jackson650
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath420
Malheur320
Coos310
Jefferson280
Douglas260
Josephine231
Wasco221
Columbia160
Hood River140
Lincoln120
Morrow120
Curry70
Crook60
Union60
Tillamook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106622

Reported Deaths: 4077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles516782294
Riverside7486323
San Diego7100260
Orange5923145
San Bernardino5034199
Alameda319595
Santa Clara2707140
San Francisco247341
Kern207637
San Mateo206184
Tulare184484
Fresno165832
Santa Barbara163612
Imperial163427
Contra Costa140437
Sacramento137356
Ventura106232
San Joaquin85834
Kings7143
Stanislaus68328
Sonoma5314
Solano50922
Monterey47710
Marin43614
Merced2807
San Luis Obispo2691
Yolo20723
Santa Cruz2062
Placer1999
Napa1113
Humboldt983
Madera982
San Benito852
El Dorado840
Del Norte440
Butte440
Sutter422
Nevada411
Shasta374
Mono351
Mendocino300
Yuba291
Lake230
Inyo201
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn140
Amador100
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Brookings
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Grants Pass
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Klamath Falls
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Stormy and soggy Saturday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events