McConnell: Net neutrality bill 'dead on arrival' in Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow Republicans are battling judicial obstructionism today McConnell fiercely attacks ‘Medicare for all’ in visit to hospital group Trump moves to install loyalists MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Senate won’t take up a net neutrality bill currently before lawmakers in the House.
“Dead on arrival in the Senate,” McConnell told reporters about the fate of the House bill, which is expected to get a vote in that chamber this week.
The bill would reinstate regulations put in place by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requiring internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.
The Obama-era rules prohibited internet service providers from blocking or throttling web content or from creating so-called internet fast lanes.
The bill is expected to easily pass the Democrat-controlled House despite a veto threat from the White House. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the Trump administration “strongly opposes” the bill, dubbed the Save the Internet Act.
Republicans tried, without success, to amend the Democrats’ bill in committee, including undercutting the FCC’s authority to enforce the rules. They also called for Democrats to come up with a compromise bill that would establish less oversight of the broadband industry.
A majority of the Senate voted last year to reinstate the Obama-era FCC’s net neutrality rules.
Democrats were able to force the 2018 vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress, with a majority vote in each chamber and the president’s signature, to overturn recent agency moves.
Three Republicans — Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill’s Morning Report – The fallout after Trump ousts top DHS officials Cain’s nomination faces uphill climb GOP fears Trump return to family separations MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDems target Juul over Altria ties, advertising tactics This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight Overnight Energy: Bipartisan Senate group seeks more funding for carbon capture technology | Dems want documents on Interior pick’s lobbying work | Officials push to produce more electric vehicle batteries in US MORE (Alaska) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) — joined the then-49 Senate Democrats to pass the bill, 52-47. The effort later died in the House last year, which was at that time controlled by Republicans.
The new legislation has long odds of passing the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats now hold 47 seats in the chamber, after Republicans netted two additional seats during the November midterm election. And the 60-day window for forcing a vote on the bill under the Congressional Review Act lapsed last year.