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Net Neutrality-Blocking Resolution Senate Vote Expected Thursday

Look for debate in the Senate on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and a vote the following day on the primarily Republican-backed resolution of disapproval to block the FCC's Nov. 20 implementation of the FCC's network neutrality rules.

That is according to a source with Republican Senate (minority) leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who helped strike the deal to bring the resolution to the floor. The Republican-controlled House has already passed a similar resolution.

The Senate voted by unanimous consent last week for McConnell to be recognized on the floor this week to make a motion to proceed to consideration of S.J. Res.6, the resolution pushed by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), a vocal opponent of the rules.

There will be up to four hours of debate on that motion to consider the resolution, a motion that will likely pass, meaning there will be some further debate and then a vote on the actual resolution. The actual resolution will almost certainly not pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but Republicans will have had the chance to make their arguments on the Senate floor and draw attention to the rules and their criticism of the substance and the process.

Republicans, and a few Democrats, have tried to block the rules' implementation via various legislative means, including defunding their implementation.

The FCC adopted its expanded and codified network openness guidelines last December after negotiations with industry players produced what ISP's saw as the more palatable of two distasteful menu options, the other being classification of Internet access as a telecom service subject to at least some common carrier regs, which many in industry tabbed the "nuclear" option.

Democrats have used the resolution in the past to try and block FCC media ownership deregulation, but that stalled in a divided Congress, as this one is expected to do.

Republicans have argued the FCC exceeded its authority, is attempting to regulate the Internet, and could chill investment and innovation. Democrats, led by the White House, Democratic congressional leaders and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, say it will protect the Internet from being blocked or degraded and provide regulatory certainty that will spur investment and innovation.