Markey: CRA Nullifying Net Reg Rollback Will Get Vote

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says he has gotten the 30 co-signers he needs to force the Republican-controlled congress to vote on a Democratic effort to nullify the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom order.

FCC Republicans voted Dec. 14 to roll back Title II classification of ISPs and repeal regs against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

Markey and company are trying to use the same legislative device Republicans used successfully to roll back some Obama-era regs, including the FCC's added broadband privacy regs under the previous chairman, Tom Wheeler, against the Republican 'net rule rollback under current chairman Ajit Pai.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said she was the 30th and key vote for congressional consideration of the CRA. “What I’ve heard from the thousands of Missourians who’ve contacted my office is simple—consumers should have protected, free, and open access to the online content of their choosing,” McCaskill said in a statement. “The best way to ensure that access isn’t to eliminate those consumer protections in one fell swoop, but reach a bipartisan agreement that’ll finally give certainty to consumers and providers alike. Until Congress does that, this bill will simply revert to the previous consumer protections that have been upheld by the courts.”

Backing the CRA move are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, which launched an internet campaign to pressure Congress into passing the CRA.

But getting the 30 Dems (actually 29 plus Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.) who caucuses with the Dems) to force a vote, and all the Dems plus a couple of Republicans, to vote to nullify the decision are quite different things. Nonetheless, Markey was calling a it a big step in the right direction.

A big step toward restoring a free and open Internet: with the support of @clairecmc, we now have the 30 votes we need to force a vote on my CRA to reverse the repeal of #NetNeutrality!

— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) January 8, 2018

John Eggerton

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.