‘Save the Internet Act’ Easily Passes House, But What Comes Next?

In a landmark moment for the campaign to bring back the Obama-era net neutrality rules dumped by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission last year, the United States House easily passed the “Save the Internet Act” on Wednesday, as The Washington Post reported. If it were to become law, the bill would reverse the FCC’s repeal vote and put the 2015 regulations back into place.

The net neutrality rules barred internet service providers such a Verizon, Spectrum, Comcast and others from blocking or slowing customer access to certain content providers, while granting other sites, which presumably have paid a premium fee, an online “fast lane.” 

As AVN.com has reported, polling shows widespread public support for the rules, across party and ideological lines, with more than 80 percent of Americans in favor of net neutrality.

Despite the policy’s popularity, however, the House vote on Wednesday appears to be the end of the line for the net neutrality legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that net neutrality would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate—strongly implying that he would not even allow the bill to be debated—and Donald Trump has said he would veto the bill anyway, even of the Senate somehow passed net neutrality.

If the bill were to come to a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate, there remains at least an outside chance it could survive there. In May of last year, the Senate passed a resolution to reinstate net neutrality by a 52-47 vote—meaning that three Republicans voted in favor of bringing back the 2015 rules.

The makeup of the Senate changed with the 2018 midterm elections, however, and now Democrats would need to flip four Republicans just to achieve a simple majority—and 13 to overcome a filibuster. 

The House vote on Wednesday was almost a straight party-line vote, with Bill Posey of Florida as the lone Republican joining Democrats in supporting the Save the Internet Act, according to an Ars Technica report

Photo by Cory Doctorow/Wikimedia Commons