Claire McCaskill

  • Democrat senators have gathered enough support to force the Senate to vote on restoring net neutrality.
  • They only need a simple majority to win this vote.
  • While that’s a long shot, there’s still a good political reason for them to force a vote: It will force Republican senators to take a public stand on this hot-button issue.

On Monday, Senator Claire McCaskill announced that she was the 30th senator to call for the Senate to vote on net-neutrality rules.

Thirty senators is the “magic number of cosponsors needed to get #net neutrality vote in the full senate,” she tweeted.

Net neutrality means that internet service providers – like your cable company – can’t do things like slow down or block apps or charge more to let you access them. They have to remain neutral and open to any app. For instance, it forbids them from slowing down apps from their competitors (such as Netflix or Google).

The rules were put in place during the Obama Administration to keep the people who own the wires that bring you the internet – for which you pay a monthly fee – from using their ownership of those wires to give themselves a competitive advantage on other businesses they own.

Under the Trump Administration, last month the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, ignoring or discounting an outpouring of comments from the tech industry that believes handing such control over to cable companies and other ISPs is a bad for everyone but the ISPs.

Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, immediately introduced a plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would allow the Senate to vote to restore the 2015 open-internet rules. 29 Senators signed on to support it — and McCaskill just became No. 30.

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