Durbin Joins Resolution to Restore FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON—Following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to dismantle net neutrality protections, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and 14 other Senators to announce their plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would undo yesterday’s action by the FCC and restore the 2015 net neutrality rules.

“Yesterday, the FCC walked away from its statutory duties and effectively eliminated its oversight over high-speed internet access.  Once adopted, this proposal will permit providers to freely block, slow down, or manipulate a consumer’s access to the internet as long as it discloses those practices – no matter how anti-consumer they might be,” said Durbin.  “The FCC has turned its back on consumers, and I stand ready to fight this radical and reckless plan on behalf of the future of the free and open internet.”

Yesterday, the FCC approved an item that guts the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld in 2016.  The Open Internet Order prohibited internet service providers from setting up internet fast and slow lanes and ensured they could not block or slow down internet traffic.

The resolution of disapproval would rescind FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s item and fully restore the Open Internet Order. CRA resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions at federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.  In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, the Senators will formally introduce the resolution once the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register.

Other Senators co-sponsoring the CRA resolution include Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D–CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

Earlier this week, Durbin and Duckworth urged FCC Chairman Pai to abandon his plan to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules.

A copy of the CRA is available here.