The Senate is set to vote Wednesday to repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission.
The measure, which is backed by all 49 Democrats and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, is set to pass the Senate and then be sent to the GOP-led House, where it'll likely go nowhere -- and President Donald Trump is unlikely to back it.
The Republican-led FCC voted in December to repeal Obama-era protections. The net neutrality rules, approved by the same organization two years earlier, prohibited internet service providers -- such as Comcast and Verizon -- from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.
Democrats argue the new FCC rules give too much power to internet service providers, which they fear will throttle down internet speeds for some websites and services while ramping it up for others who pay more.
"The internet should be kept free and open like our highways, accessible and affordable to every American, regardless of ability to pay," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a statement announcing Democrats would force the vote, utilizing a rarely used discharge petition.
He continued, "The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses. A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price."
While Democrats recognize they are unlikely to reverse the FCC's rule, they see the issue as a key policy desire that energizes their base voters, a top priority ahead of the midterm elections.
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