Todays the big day for the Senates big push to undo the FCCs Restoring Internet Freedom order nullifying 2015s net neutrality rules. A vote is scheduled for this afternoon on whether to repeal that order, though as of this writing the coalition is still one vote shy of making it happen. The vote is an application of the Congressional Review Act, which as you might guess from the name allows Congress to review and if necessary undo recent regulations enacted by federal agencies. Its been seldom used for decades but the current administration has been very free with it as a method of squelching rules passed in the twilight of the Obama era. Today Senate Democrats strike back with the same weapon. A simple majority is required, but right now only a single Republican Senator, Maines Susan Collins, has courageously stepped across the aisle to join the Democrat-led effort. One more would pass the bill, though it would still have to get through the House and the presidents desk, making its prognosis poor. The FCC just repealed net neutrality. What happens next? That matters little, though: until today, many senators will have been able to largely stay silent on the issue, and a vote to support this highly unpopular rule may come back to bite them come midterms. Net neutrality may very well be an issue constituencies care about, or at least thats what Democratic challengers are hoping for. On the other hand, a Democratic-led CRA is a direct, partisan attack on the administration, which has supported this FCCs actions, and would cause return to Obama-era rules, which few Republicans would relish. Will any Republican senators see the writing on the wall and flip? Or will they stick to the party and leave it to be decided by a tie-breaker vote almost certain to go in their favor? Tune in to the Senate webcast to find out; the vote should happen around 3PM Eastern, but as always in government timing is only approximate.
This afternoon, the Senate is set to vote on whether to nullify the FCCs removal of net neutrality protections. A group of Democratic senators forced the vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to roll back agency regulations — in this case, the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The resolution needs 51 votes to pass, which means a couple of Republicans will need to throw in their support; so far, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has crossed the line. The vote is expected to happen around 3PM ET today, but the Senate will start discussing it at 12PM ET, and you can catch the debate live on C-SPAN. As weve mentioned before, the resolution has a long road ahead even if it passes the Senate. It would need to be approved by a majority of the House of Representatives, then signed by President Trump, who would be rolling back a regulation crafted by his own FCC chairman Ajit Pai. But at the very least, its a chance to see where politicians come down on net neutrality. Time is also streaming the Senate debate and vote on its YouTube channel, which you can watch below.