WASHINGTON — One day after the U.S. Senate voted in favor of restoring the net neutrality regulations adopted in the Obama era, some lawmakers are is working in earnest to force a similar vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The fight isn’t over,” U.S. Representative Mike Doyle said yesterday after the vote. “We’ve got to get this bill through the House as well in order to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.”
Doyle said that 218 signatures are needed on a discharge petition (H.Res. 873) for a House vote on net neutrality to become reality.
If a majority of the members of the House of Representatives sign the net neutrality discharge petition, House rules — specifically Rule XV, clause 2 — mandate that it be voted on by the full House.
“With the majority leadership in the House opposed to this bill, the only way to bring it before the full House for a vote is through a discharge petition,” Doyle said. “Under the rules of the House, a bill must be brought to the House floor for a vote if a majority of Representatives sign a discharge petition demanding it.
“I’m filing a discharge petition to force a vote on the legislation to save net neutrality, and we just need to get a majority of Representatives to sign it,” he said. “I’m sure that every member of the House will want to know where their constituents stand on this issue.”
Last December, the FCC voted along party lines to reverse the Open Internet Order, which regulates ISPs in order to ensure net neutrality. Repealing these net neutrality rules could lead to slower internet traffic and even blocked websites, along with higher prices for both businesses and consumers.
Under the Congressional Review Act, members of the House and Senate can offer a joint resolution of disapproval on any regulation recently issued by a federal agency.
Doyle introduced legislation (H.J.Res. 129) in the House to overrule the FCC’s action, and Sen. Ed Markey introduced a counterpart bill in the Senate (S.J.Res. 52). The Senate bill was approved yesterday by a vote of 52 to 47.