Democrats, citing Hayek, introduce Net Neutrality bill to force lawmakers to take an on-record position prior to the midterms

Calling the FCC's decision to kill Net Neutrality the "road to serfdom" Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] introduced the legislation he'd co-sponsored with Senator Ed Markey [D-MA] to restore Neutrality.

Similar legislation was introduced by House Democrats.

It's unlikely that this legislation will pass in the current session, but if it were put to a vote, it would force legislators to go into the 2018 midterm elections with a recent, on-the-record position on Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is incredibly popular with Democrat and Republican voters, and unpopular with a tiny minority of lobbyists working for the telcoms industry, so such a vote will certainly put lawmakers in a tough place.

Another possible roll-call on Net Neutrality could come in the form of a vote on Congressional review of the FCC's decision, should just one more Republican Senator flip.

Net Neutrality's credentials as the kind of thing that decent people support were burnished last week when the NRA gave Ajit Pai a gun to thank him for shooting Net Neutrality with armor-piercing rounds. That gift was likely a violation of federal ethics rules, as were the remarks of Pai's FCC colleague Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who gave a speech urging people to vote for Trump in 2020, something civil servants aren't supposed to do when acting in their official capacities.

Though both bills already have decent support behind them (50 Senators and 150 House Representatives have pledged support to the bills), neither has enough to actually pass—the Senate needs one more supporter, who would have to be a Republican, while the House needs at least another 68 supporters. Even if both sides are able to scrape together the votes, President Donald Trump would have to approve and sign the resolution for it to take effect.

Whether Democrats truly believe the bills have a chance of passing, if either or both bills fail, they will still achieve their broader goal: to cement net neutrality as an election issue ahead of this fall’s midterms. Having a record of who voted for and supported the first real attempt to undo the FCC’s repeal provides great fodder for Democrats who can blame net neutrality’s repeal squarely on the GOP. Net neutrality is widely popular—even the majority of Republican voters supported keeping the rules in place—so it could be a key issue come election day.

Democrats Officially Introduce Bills to Restore Net Neutrality [Kaleigh Rogers/Motherboard]

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