Sen. Kennedy Pressed on Net Neutrality CRA

Internet activists were outside the New Orleans office of Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) Tuesday (Jan. 30) urging him to be the 51st vote for rolling back the FCC's network neutrality rule deregulation.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has 50 votes, including one Republican and two independents, for a Congressional Review Act nullifying the Dec. 14 Restoring Internet Freedom order. He only needs one more vote pass the CRA resolution.

Demand Progress communications director Mark Stanley said the senator has a choice: "Stand with Big Telecom, or safeguard the free expression rights of his constituents by supporting the bipartisan CRA resolution."

Demand Progress is buoyed by Kennedy's statement to reporters about the CRA: “I’m honestly undecided. Right now, to me, it’s a very, very close call.”

Even if Kennedy were swayed and the Senate passed the resolution, it would still have to pass the House, where it would need to woo a couple dozen Republicans and hold onto all the Democrats in support of a legislative move that many Dems criticized when Republicans used it to roll back Obama-era regs.

Rep. Mike Doyle has been collecting cosponsors on a House version of the CRA, but as of last week had only 110 sponsors (about half of what he needs), all Dems.

Then the President would have to sign it, and the White House has signaled that isn't happening.

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.