Net neutrality supporters hit a major milestone this week with 40 Senators cosponsoring a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC”s deeply unpopular repeal of net neutrality. That’s more than enough Senators to force a vote to the floor. Now all eyes are on Senator Susan Collins, who was one of the first Republican lawmakers to publicly oppose the FCC’s decision to hand giant cable companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T the power to control what we see and do on the Internet with throttling, censorship, and extra fees.
In a letter to the FCC ahead of its vote, Collins wrote "Repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules will undermine longstanding protections that have ensured the open internet as a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity. We are concerned about the proposed order's impact on the free market that has driven growth in our economy for years, and the potential adverse effect on rural America's ability to realize the internet's full potential."
Collins is absolutely right. Killing net neutrality would be devastating for small businesses and undermine free expression. Collins knows that on substance, the FCC’s move was the wrong policy. But actions speak louder than words. If Senator Collins truly supports the free and open Internet, she must support the CRA vote to reverse the FCC’s illegitimate decision to end net neutrality protections.
The CRA allows our elected officials to overrule a Federal agency like the FCC. It takes a simple majority in both the Senate and the House. If Susan Collins remains consistent with her previous policy positions and supports the CRA resolution moving in the Senate, it would be game changing, and could tip the scales in favor of restoring net neutrality.