In an attempt to save Obama-era net neutrality rules, more than 75 U.S. mayors and elected officials have signed a letter supporting a congressional review of the FCC’s recent net neutrality rollback.
The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overrule federal regulations, with a simple majority vote, within 60 days of any agency submits them to the Federal Register. Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts announced a resolution Tuesday that he says would “fully restore” net neutrality rules. Assuming it has 49 votes from the Senate Democratic caucus, the resolution needs just two Republican supporters to pass the Senate.
The letter represents yet another gesture by big city mayors, including those in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to support net neutrality standards that require internet service providers (ISPs) to provide uniform access to online content and prohibit them from favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
“A free and open Internet forms the backbone of the 21st Century economy, and as leaders of local communities we are acutely aware of the threat to education, innovation, and economic growth posed by the [Restoring Internet Freedom Draft Order],” the letter states, referring to the proposal advanced by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai that reversed net neutrality rules.
This resolution has drawn criticism from large internet providers like Verizon and Comcast. If the resolution passes the Senate, the House would also need to pass it. The House version currently has about 150 supporters, which is not enough to pass. If the resolution passes both houses, President Donald Trump would then have to sign off — which is fairly unlikely as the FCC repeal was instated while he was in office.
Colin Wood contributed to this story.