Senator John Thune is an asshole. Youll have to pardon my profanity, but the most transparent scam in US political history is unfolding in front of us and its difficult to parse information coming out of the post-truth world that Washington D.C. has become. CNBC liked TNW Conference that muchLet me start over: The US Senate today voted 52-47 in favor of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the repeal of net neutrality. But according to Senator John Thune, if it were to miraculously make it to the House (which is likely to simply refuse to hear it) and even more incredulously pass there, it will be vetoed by the President. This isnt a win folks. Weve said it before: net neutrality is dead and its time to move on. Because the real fight isnt for Obamas net neutrality, its against Marsha Blackburns. Before we move on, its worth pointing out that the following GOP Senators voted to send the resolution to the House: Susan Collins, John Kennedy, and Lisa Murkowski. Kudos to them for caring about the problem. But, today isnt about solutions: its about drama. In the hours leading up to todays vote, Senators on both sides were called upon to debate the idea of net neutrality. When I started writing this, Id been listening to the debate for approximately three hours. Heres the three reasons why most of the GOP Senators urged the Democrats to vote against the CRA, according to Thune (paraphrased for brevity). First: Net neutrality made it harder for ISPs to provide broadband access to rural areas. This is demonstrably false. Its shocking to think anyone on the planet buys that line, because of how… many… times… this has been shown to be an outright lie. But Thune says it with great passion, and thats enough to convince some people. Second: It was based on Depression Era rules for phone companies. He says regulations from the 30s implemented during the Great Depression to keep Ma Bell from having a telephone company monopoly dont apply in todays modern world. He finds it incredible that anyone would think they do. Really John? You cant believe that people care about laws, rules, and regulations that are older than the technology they refer to, even if you cant explain what about them is outdated? On the one hand, hes an asshole. Heres a flowchart I made to demonstrate as much: And on the second of three hands (theres too much stupidity for just two), hes even more of an asshole. Protecting consumers never goes out of style. And furthermore the 2015 net neutrality bill was based on those same protections, but obviously terminology was updated — terms like throttling and fast-lanes didnt apply to Ma Bell. Small bookstores in the 30s werent concerned that the phone company would slow down the words coming out of their phones in exchange for more money from Amazon. But, if you look on the third hand, maybe hes got a point. By his logic, the second amendment is pretty damn outdated. It could use a new glance-over by some sober minded people who arent avowed firearms enthusiasts. Whats that you say? Its a non-starter? Oh goody, thats how we felt about net neutrality. Third: Cmon. Eh? Cmon! Trust us. Seriously, look at our face: why would Verizon do something that would hurt its customers just for more money? Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. Never gonna turn around and desert you. Seriously, Thune said the reason net neutrality should be repealed is because telecommunications companies have promised not to throttle, fast-lane, block, or prioritize legal internet content, so theres no reason to enforce regulations. Trust them. Wink. The reality is: even though John Thune cant give one truth-based reason for supporting the net neutrality repeal, he has 928,428 – each of them dollars. It would have saved the taxpayers a lot of time and money if he and the other GOP majority-voters, rather than spend their half of the debate talking (lying), just dumped bags of money on the floor and pointed at the cash. The Next Webs 2018 conference is almost here, and itll be . Find out all about our tracks here.
The Senate today voted 52-47 to disapprove the FCCs recent order replacing 2015s net neutrality rules, a pleasant surprise for internet advocates and consumers throughout the country. Although the disapproval will almost certainly not lead to the new rules being undone, it is a powerful statement of solidarity with a constituency activated against this deeply unpopular order. To be clear, the FCCs Restoring Internet Freedom is still set to take effect in June. BREAKING: The Senate just voted to restore #NetNeutrality! We won. To all of those who kept fighting and didnt get discouraged: you did this. You raised your voices and we heard you. Thank you. Now the fight continues. On to the House! Senate Joint Resolution 52 officially disapproves the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to undo recently created rules by federal agencies. It will have to pass in the House as well and then be signed by the president for the old rules to be restored (that or a two-thirds majority, which is equally unlikely). On the other hand, forcing everyone in Congress to officially weigh in will potentially make this an issue in the upcoming midterms. Do you support net neutrality? Every candidate in America is going to be asked that question, said Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) at a press conference after the vote. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) related that a Republican colleague of his told him that their office had received more than 6,000 calls from people expressing support for net neutrality and the FCCs original rules, and 10 opposed. People who use the internet all the time realize what this is about. Millions of calls, we dont get that on every issue. People intuitively get this, said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the press conference. Commission Impossible: How and why the FCC created net neutralityUntil yesterday Senate Democrats, who brought the resolution, had 50 supporters, including one Republican, more than enough to force the issue to be voted on, but not enough to actually pass. Two more Republicans, Alaskas Lisa Murowski and Louisianas John Kennedy joined Maines Susan Collins (the first to cross the aisle) to vote aye on the measure, making the final tally 52-47. (The missing vote belongs to Sen. McCain, who is absent while fighting cancer.) We salute them for their courage, said Senate minority leader Nancy Pelosi at the press conference. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel commended the Senates action. Today the United States Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late last year, she said in a statement. Todays vote is a sign that the fight for internet freedom is far from over. Ill keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will too. Chairman Ajit Pai, however, was less congratulatory in his own statement. Its disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin, he said, But ultimately, Im confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail. Both he and Commissioner Carr cited a three-Pinnochio fact-check of Democratic claims regarding net neutrality thats a good guide to avoiding the hysteria occasionally encountered in this debate but provides precious little support for Restoring Internet Freedom, which is itself plagued by technical misunderstandings. The FCCs case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet worksRepresentative Mike Doyle, who has been working on the corresponding effort in the House, said he is taking the next step tomorrow morning. With the Majority Leadership in the House opposed to this bill, the only way to bring it before the full House for a vote is through a discharge petition. Under the rules of the House, a bill must be brought to the House Floor for a vote if a majority of Representatives sign a discharge petition demanding it. Im filing a discharge petition to force a vote on the legislation to save Net Neutrality, and we just need to get a majority of Representatives to sign it. Im sure that every Member of the House will want to know where their constituents stand on this issue. As everyone notes above, the fight continues. Be sure to contact your member of Congress.