More Details About The Net Neutrality Resolution Coming To U.S. Congress This Week
  • There is a new plan in the U.S. Congress to roll back the Title II net neutrality order.
  • Senator Ed Markey will introduce a new plan that relies on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) from 1996.
  • The chances of this plan to succeeded are slim, but still possible.

For the last six months, ever since FCC Ajit Pai began the rollback of the Title II net neutrality order, the progress on this matter has been really slow. Although there is an idea by the net neutrality advocates to fight a long court battle, there might be another, faster way to deal with this issue.

Senator Ed Markey has a new plan that involves the introduction of a Congressional Review Act from 1996. This plan involves the use of some more complicated procedures in the Congress. The CRA gives Congress the right to reverse any federal regulation by utilizing a joint resolution of disapproval. This joint resolution needs to be passed within 60 legislative days of enactment. A good side of this plan is that if successful, the CRA vote stops any future consideration of the rule.

Senator Ed Markey
Image Courtesy Of: WBUR

Of course, in order for it to work, many pieces would need to be put in the right place. For starts, since CRA is not really a bill, Senators can force a vote if their petition is signed by 30 members. And as The Verge confirms, Markey’s motion already has enough co-sponsors for the vote. This part involves some arcane parliamentary procedures and less formal rules. The lack of similar cases where CRA was used and the uncertain rules don’t give anyone a clear idea of how could this procedure play out in the end. The CRA requires a bare majority of votes to pass the petition. And once the resolution passes the Senate, things will become even harder. The similar mechanism for forcing a vote in the House requires a full majority of representatives in support. It stays unclear if Markey has enough votes in this scenario. And even if it passes through the Congress, the CRA resolution then needs to pass the president’s desk. President Trump would need to sign it but he could also put a veto on it. And so far, his statements on net neutrality have been very confusing so this could end either way.