Sen. Susan Collins
The Senate has approved a plan that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from overturning the net neutrality rules the agency put into place in 2015.
Three Republican Senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Louisiana’s John Kennedy and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined all 49 Democrats to give the measure a 52-47 win. Sen. John McCain was not in Washington, D.C. to vote due to his ongoing cancer treatment in Arizona.
The decision to end net neutrality was made in December by the Republican-controlled FCC, reversing the 2015 implementation of the rules made when that agency was controlled by Democrats.
The new rules, which are currently set to go into effect on June 10, would no longer prevent Internet service providers from prioritizing their own content, or that of their partners, through so-called “fast lanes.” They would also strike down prohibitions against blocking or slowing down content from smaller websites.
The Senate decision, however, is just the first step in the effort to maintain net neutrality. With a 235-193 Republican advantage in the House, passing the measure faces a steep uphill climb. And with President Trump having voiced disapproval of net neutrality, even a measure passed by both houses of Congress is likely to come up against a presidential veto.