In a procedural move that bypasses committee consideration, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has put a broadband rate reg-blocking bill directly on to the Senate calendar for a potential floor vote.
The House last week voted along party lines (Republicans for, Democrats against) to approve H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), which would prevent the FCC from regulating the monthly rates of broadband service or potentially after-the-fact via its enforcement authority.
The McConnell move came on the floor Thursday. It does not guarantee a vote anytime soon, though it could be brought up for a vote at McConnell's discretion. And even if it is approved, almost certainly on close to a straight party line given the partisan division over the bill, the President has pledged to veto it.
Democrats say it would gut the Open Internet order and the FCC's authority over consumer protections that implicate rates.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.