Thursday’s vote could overturn new regulations that prevent ISP’s from charging for premium service
President Obama will not be neutral when it comes to net neutrality.
The White House on Tuesday pledged to veto any Congressional resolution seeking to overturn the Federal Communication Commission's Open Internet regulations, set to go into effect Nov. 20.
Also read: FCC Makes Its Net Neutrality Rules Official
The presidential shot across the bow comes prior to an expected Thursday Senate vote on a Republican-sponsored “resolution of disapproval” opposing the regulations.
Unveiled last September, the rules are designed to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against competitors or consumers by blocking content or altering speeds.
The regulations allow the FCC to impose fines and bring injunctions against companies that slow down internet service for customers who are streaming movies or downloading music.
The House of Representatives, currently held by the Republicans, passed a similar resolution in April.
Though Democrats maintain a 53-47 majority in the Senate, Thursday’s vote is expected to be close, due to the rules that apply to resolutions.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) mustered the signatures needed to get the resolution, officially “S.J. Res. 6,” discharged from the Senate Commerce Committee. It is now before the entire Senate. That means filibuster rules will not apply and the resolution can be passed with a simple majority — meaning only 51 votes are required for approval.
The resolution currently has 42 Republican co-sponsors. But, according to Joel Kelsey, political advisor for Free Press, it is not clear how Republican senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Jerry Moran of Kansas will vote. There are similar questions about Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Last week Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts sent a letter to his fellow senators imploring them to vote against the resolution.
The Congressional Review Act provides a mechanism for Congress to overturn federal agency regulations it disapproves of. It requires passage in both houses, then the signature of the president.