A group of 33 Democratic Senators, headed by Se. Ed Markey, have forced a vote aimed at restoring net neutrality protections removed by the FCC in December. The planned submission of a petition under the Congressional Review Act to force a vote on the resolution occurred Wednesday, and now a vote is expected to take place next week.
Before that vote, Democrats will search for a moderate Republican senator to supply a 51st vote on the resolution. Currently all 48 Democratic Senators support the measure, along with Independent Angus King and Republican Susan Collins. The group is looking to sway either Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. John Kennedy or Sen. Rob Portman to their side to guarantee a majority. The measure could still be approved even if the supporters aren’t able to secure a 51st vote as Sen. John McCain likely wouldn’t be present for a vote as he continues treatment for a brain tumor.
“We don’t know how this is going to end, but this is part of an effort to get every member of Congress on the record either supporting or opposing Net Neutrality,” said Sen. Brian Schatz.
It is likely that the group will secure a 51st vote though, as the Obama-era protections still enjoy broad support. Numerous internet companies support restoring the protections, with some, including Reddit, Pornhub and Tumblr, adding red alert banners to their sites in support of the forthcoming vote to restore the protections.
While the resolution has a good chance to pass the Senate, it will have a more difficult time passing through the House. If it does, it will require approval from President Trump, who is likely to pass on supporting the Obama-era protections.