Senate Democrats got enough Republican support Wednesday to win a vote
to save open-internet rules, but ultimately victory in unlikely given Republican control of the federal government.
Democrats used a law that allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions by a simple majority vote.
In 2015, the Obama-era FCC passed sweeping regulations that banned broadband providers from discriminating against lawful internet content. Last December, the now-Republican dominated FCC voted to get rid of those rules.
The measure the Senate approved Wednesday, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, would block the FCC's December order, which is scheduled to take effect June 11. That would leave the net neutrality rules in place.
On the other hand: Republicans have argued that the market should be allowed to operate more freely so companies can innovate. Regulators will catch abuses of voluntary net neutrality principles as they arise, they said.
Republican Senator John Thune, who chairs the Commerce Committee, told Reuters Wednesday that "nothing is going to change" with the end of the rules.
“I don’t know how that animates people to vote if their Netflix is working,” he said.