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Sherrod Brown Joins Senate Effort To Revive Net Neutrality

FCC chair Ajit Pai speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference.
FCC chair Ajit Pai speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote this week on a resolution to undo the Trump administration’s repeal of “net neutrality” rules. Senate Democrats are forcing the vote less than a month before the new rules are scheduled to take effect.

So far, all 49 Democratic Senators and one Republican support the resolution to preserve the Obama-era order, which restrict the ability of Internet service providers to alter access to website and apps. A group of Senators led by Ed Markey of Massachusetts is bringing the resolution under the Congressional Review Act to force a vote in the Senate.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said this week’s vote could help sway more Republicans if it heads to the House.

“Every House member in Ohio, I assume, will hear from thousands, if not tens of thousands of their voters, their constituents, saying ‘Stand with us,’” Brown said.

Brown said he’s confident his party will get the simple majority needed to send the resolution to the House. But Brown also said it will be an uphill battle against corporate interests.

“Most Republican House members and senators are standing with their corporate benefactors…to gut these rules," Brown said.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman did not return WKSU's requests for comment.

The resolution is likely to be vetoed if it reaches the president’s desk. But the vote set for Wednesday does force lawmakers to go on record supporting – or opposing – net neutrality ahead of the midterm election. Brown is running for reelection against Republican U.S. Rep. and Trump supporter Jim Renacci.

Net neutrality opponents argue the 2015 rules stifle competition and innovation and force consumers to overpay for online services they don't use.

The Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality is set to take effect on June 11.

Copyright 2018 WOSU 89.7 NPR News