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Democrats Are Just One Vote Shy of Restoring Net Neutrality (engadget.com) 331

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer now says Democrats in the Senate are a single vote away from restoring net neutrality. According to the senator from New York, they now have a total of 50 votes for a Senate resolution of disapproval that would restore the Open Internet Order of 2015 and deliver a stiff rebuke to Ajit Pai and other Republican members of the FCC. It would also prevent the agency from passing a similar measure in the future, all but guaranteeing Net Neutrality is permanently preserved. Right now the resolution has the support of all 49 Democrats in the Senate and one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine. But Schumer and the rest of the caucus will have to win over one more Republican vote to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from breaking tie and allowing the repeal to stand. Under the Congressional Review Act, the Senate has 60 days to challenge a decision by an independent agency like the FCC. Democrats have less than 30 days to convince a "moderate" like John McCain or Lindsey Graham to buck their party. Further reading: The Washington Post (paywalled)
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Democrats Are Just One Vote Shy of Restoring Net Neutrality

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  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:03AM (#55937705)

    They don't need a moderate Republican. Given the current state of the involved politics, what they need is a pissed off Republican who isn't interested in continuing in public service and who will vote to hurt Trump... OK, and who is also somewhat moderate by the standards of Trumpism.

    There are a couple of those, if I've been following things as well as I think I have.

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:43AM (#55937909)

      They don't need a moderate Republican. Given the current state of the involved politics, what they need is a pissed off Republican who isn't interested in continuing in public service and who will vote to hurt Trump

      This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite. And you wonder why there is so much vitriol in politics. Your mindset is part of the problem.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Baron_Yam ( 643147 )

        >This is the stupidest thing I've ever read.

        No, just a stupid interpretation of what I posted. That's on you.

        >You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite.

        See, that's where you let your stupidity get the better of you, and you inferred what was never implied.

        No 'ought' at all. That's the way it works right now in the GOP; vote Trump, unless you have nothing to lose and are pissed that he's destroying the party.

        • No I got the vindictive vibe from your comment too.
          There is an old phrase, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." So while a lot of Trump presidency is broken, every once in a while something right gets out. So voting just because you don't like the guy and what he is doing, just because he is mostly wrong, will prevent taking advantage of good when it comes out.

          That said, from my experience with jerks like Trump, they are actually easily manipulated. You just stroke their Ego, and protect them, and th

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward


        You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite.

        Spite is maybe the wrong word, but I'll take it. Voting against things because you don't like the leadership is an effective strategy for change. Leadership only works if people follow. Not blindly following your party and voting against something you might not even care about, or possibly even agree (in this instance) can work to break up a direction you don't like. There's m

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @09:58AM (#55938349)

        This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite. And you wonder why there is so much vitriol in politics. Your mindset is part of the problem.

        ...only surpassed by the naiveté of acting like the entire Republican caucus hasn't been doing exactly this already since 2008. If they're gonna be like this, perhaps they can use it for GOOD for once.

      • This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite. And you wonder why there is so much vitriol in politics. Your mindset is part of the problem.

        Isn't that exactly what McCain did in the Obamacare "repeal" vote? He dramatically flew back in to Washington and cast a no vote to kill the measure, after saying that he would support it. Allegedly after that, he told Chuck Schumer "Let's see Donald Trump make America great again now." [twitter.com]

      • You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite.

        Is that better or worst than voting on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but based on what colour appears under their name on their wikipedia page?

      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:04AM (#55938859) Journal

        You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite.

        That's how Trump ended up president.

        • Nail on the head
        • and it does a great disservice to Americans. Trump became president for two reasons. First, he ran as a left wing populist. He promised jobs for all, medical care for all (and if rumors are to be believed he floated Single Payer to his cabinet before they shut him down), expanded infrastructure spending and His America First platform gave the impression he'd end the 7 wars we're fighting. Meanwhile Hilary stood for... well nothing. She ran a campaign almost completely without content. I'm knee deep in polit
          • Trump became president for two reasons. First, he ran as a left wing populist

            Here is the full text of Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

            He did not run as a left-wing populist. He ran on an agenda of racism, jingoism and owning the libs.

            http://abcnews.go.com/Politics... [go.com]

      • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:23AM (#55939025) Homepage

        This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite. And you wonder why there is so much vitriol in politics. Your mindset is part of the problem.

        Trump's election to POTUS was vindictive spite from the right in this country. I am perfectly ok with the left hitting back. Trump's entire presidency has been one spite after another, reversing everything his predecessor did that he can, not because he believes in those positions, but because Barack Obama did.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        You're suggesting people ought to vote on things not because of the merits of what they're voting on but out of vindictive spite.

        Sometimes people need a little push to make them wake up and start thinking for themselves. Trump has a certain charisma that makes people blindly follow him like sheep. (And then they accuse the Democrats of being sheep, oh the irony!)

      • Sometimes vindictive spite is the only way a lawmaker can get the courage to vote for what they believe, instead of for what the party whip tells them they have to vote for if they want their next campaign financed. It's like when you're in a toxic office environment but you wear a smile and toe the company line until your last day when you spill the harsh truth in your exit interview.

    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      Baron Yam observed:

      They don't need a moderate Republican. Given the current state of the involved politics, what they need is a pissed off Republican who isn't interested in continuing in public service and who will vote to hurt Trump... OK, and who is also somewhat moderate by the standards of Trumpism.

      There are a couple of those, if I've been following things as well as I think I have.

      If only that were true. Unfortunately, it is not.

      What they need - in addition to another Republican vote - is either a signature from the President, or a willingness on his part to allow their repeal bill to become law without his signature.

      That might happen, especially if the Democrats cave on funding his ridiculous wall. However, given his record of doing whatever the couch creatures on Fox News tell him to do, that's probably not the way to bet ...

    • The problem that I see is that loyalty has swapped.
      Where Senators and Representatives should have their loyalty in the following order.
      To their State, to their Country finally to their Party.
      Their loyalty seems to show they are more loyal to their party, then to the country and finally to the State they represent.

      The few considered moderate republicans, are not necessarily moderate, but comprehend how such laws will effect their state, and their country first, vs the party line.

      • Where Senators and Representatives should have their loyalty in the following order. To their State, to their Country finally to their Party.

        Shouldn't "their constituents" be somewhere on that list?

      • The problem that I see is that loyalty has swapped.
        Where Senators and Representatives should have their loyalty in the following order.
        To their State, to their Country finally to their Party.
        Their loyalty seems to show they are more loyal to their party, then to the country and finally to the State they represent.

        I agree that loyalty isn't where it should be, but it seems to me that Senators and Representatives are often loyal in this order: Campaign donors, Noisy Extremists, Party, State, Country

        Campaign donors should be nowhere on the list, especially because they can represent foreign interests or corporate interests that are in opposition to the interests of most of the population (state or country).

      • Most Senators and Representatives have as their first priority lining their own pockets, which makes as their 2nd priority serving those who bribe them.
    • by Creepy ( 93888 )

      Even if they sway the Senate and get their vote and then persuade the House to do the same, I give Trump 162.671% chance of vetoing it (using Trumpian math, anything else is fake news). After that they need 2/3 majority, and I'm sure Comcast and Verizon can provide enough bribes to keep that from happening.

  • scare quotes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:06AM (#55937723)

    Calling John McCain and Lindsey Graham "moderate" is the best use of scare quotes I've seen in a long time.

    Unintentional?

    • It's perspective. Some call them conservative, some call them moderate, some call them liberals (by American standards - please refrain from the "they are extreme right for Europe), and some call them sell outs who will go against what they say they believe for some positive press.

      • It's perspective. Some call them conservative, some call them moderate, some call them liberals (by American standards - please refrain from the "they are extreme right for Europe), and some call them sell outs who will go against what they say they believe for some positive press.

        They are not even vaguely liberal by any standard, including American standards.

    • he moved the Dems to far right to form a coalition of left and right to get himself in office. The Republicans had to follow suit in order to maintain a distinct brand identity. Around this time money started flowing into politics like never before and a new type of 'Corporate' Democrat appeared; e.g. economically right wing but socially left wing. They used the corporate money to take over the DNC and push out the left and the old school moderate Dems. There's a movement called 'Justice Democrats' trying t
      • How old were you in 1992? Any analysis of "How Bill Clinton became President" that doesn't begin and end with Ross Perot. is wrong.

  • Fake News (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:07AM (#55937731)

    Slashdot summary is retarded. From the article:

    "The measure must survive the Republican-majority House and be signed by President Trump to take effect."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:42AM (#55937901)

      It's a very very toxic measure, especially among rural Republican voters who are the ones usually stuck with one ISP. They're the ones who get screwed over by Verizon/Comcast/ ATnT. So each Republican Senator they force to support Ajit's toxic measure, is a Republican that will have to face his constituents later and explain why they supported this anti consumer measure.

      This has value even if Republicans overturn it later.

      Ajit has helped enormously with his insulting and patronizing videos and ignoring of all those fake comments with half a million of them from Russian email addresses. I assume he'll go on helping as the State Attorneys investigate all the identity theft. Identity theft is a crime, and obstruction of the investigation of it, is also a crime, and Ajit loves to make smug videos, reveling in his temporary power.

      • It's a very very toxic measure, especially among rural Republican voters who are the ones usually stuck with one ISP. They're the ones who get screwed over by Verizon/Comcast/ ATnT. So each Republican Senator they force to support Ajit's toxic measure, is a Republican that will have to face his constituents later and explain why they supported this anti consumer measure.

        Not a problem; They're also the ones who are thoroughly convinced that Net Neutrality is the digital equivalent to Nazi concentration camps... the most egregious attempt at government control and censorship in all of history.

        Ajit has helped enormously with his insulting and patronizing videos and ignoring of all those fake comments with half a million of them from Russian email addresses.

        ...which, ironically, few of the aforementioned constituents have seen since they lack decent internet speeds. Besides, if/when things do come to a head, I'm sure Fox News will slap a (D) next to his name.
        =Smidge=

    • Republicans who vote against it are declaring they don't give a fuck about NN.
      If Trump won't sign it then he also declares that he's for coporate interests and against NN for American citizens.
      Either way they come out clearly on one side of the fence or another.
  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:14AM (#55937765)
    We need to buy a Senator.
    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      olsmeister urged:

      We need to buy a Senator.

      Someone with points: please mod parent +1 Funny ... !

  • by pots ( 5047349 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:26AM (#55937821)
    Maybe I just don't know how the senate works, but it seems unlikely to me that all fifty of the remaining GOP senators would vote against this. Though they might not vote for it either. Is it necessary to reach the fifty-one vote threshold, if some senators abstain?

    I know the senate has some weird rules about some of these things, so what I'm really asking is whether any of those apply here.
    • The remaining 50 GOP Senators know who their campaign contributors are and will vote accordingly.

      • I know who my contributors are; I just don't care. Then again, I'm also running for D-MD07 so.

        Never let money get in the way of integrity. People will literally back you when you tell them what you're trying to do is going to harm them if they think you have integrity. I'm not sure why; I think it has something to do with folks not wanting to be the one against doing the right thing, even if it's personally inconvenient. You can't buy that.

    • You need a majority to vote "yes" to pass the bill. Abstentions are effectively voting "no" when it comes to passing the bill.

  • Misleading title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @08:32AM (#55937851)
    The Republicans are stronger in the House making restoration unlikely there. Even then Trump will almost certainly veto it. If NN is going to come back the Dems have to take the House and Senate by a wide enough margin to overturn a veto.
    • The Republicans are stronger in the House making restoration unlikely there. Even then Trump will almost certainly veto it. If NN is going to come back the Dems have to take the House and Senate by a wide enough margin to overturn a veto.

      And as the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act has shown, it is much easier to gather support for something that has no hope of winning ("look, I can engage in some posturing, support something politically popular with my base without actually being on the hook if things go wrong") than it is to actually change something. So, even if the Democrats take both houses of congress and the next president is a Democrat, it wouldn't be surprising if this falls victim to political maneuver

      • The Dems are all in favor of this as is the electorate. The trouble with the ACA repeal was that the electorate figured out it meant losing access to healthcare and billions of dollars in insurance subsidies. That's what shut it down.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          The trouble with the ACA repeal was that the electorate figured out it meant losing access to healthcare and billions of dollars in insurance subsidies. That's what shut it down.

          Maybe you can tell that to the millions of americans who had their healthcare premiums go up by 400%(to 500-600/mo) with a $6000 deductible. To the point where the penalty for not having ACA insurance was cheaper then having insurance in the first place, or the millions who lost health insurance because of it. Because I'll tell ya something, there were a lot of seniors in FL(Zephyrhills) where I stay for part of the winter who couldn't afford insurance anymore.

          • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:55AM (#55939351)
            private insurance was. Your premiums are going up because medical care isn't something that should be paid for by the private sector. It's too complex. You can't 'shop around' for a heart transplant like you can for a breakfast sandwich. Also, you can go without the breakfast sandwich. You can't go without the heart transplant.

            The ACA was a bad law. But it was the best we could get with a Congress full of Republicans and Blue Dog Dems. We already know the solution, which is Single Payer. Bernie Sander's has a townhall meeting [google.com] coming up to discuss it. Hopefully it gets some traction and we can join the rest of the civilized world (who pay 1/2 what we do for better results).
            • I would have more faith in Sander's single payer if his state and others would implement it first. California is the closest I think to try and it was a law that had no mechanism to fund it.

              If democrats can't get it to work at the state level why would it work at the national level?

            • the rest of the civilized world (who pay 1/2 what we do for better results)

              The problem with this old tired meme is that Americans' higher prices subsidize the rest of the world's lower prices. If we join the rest of the world and institute our own governmental price fixing, some combination of availability and/or innovation in care will disappear -- for everyone. There is no free lunch, no matter how many Bernie Sanders there are out there sweetly crooning otherwise to people who really really wish it were true.

              (And if I'm late to the party and shittier-but-equal services for al

              • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @04:39PM (#55941609)
                Who told you that? They're lying. Most of the research going on is done in Europe because it's tough to get America businesses to pay for it. The rest is done in public Universities with government grants. America is all about privatizing profits and socializing costs. I've had a few relatives lives saved by medicine, and even in the States it was by socialized medicine. They ran out of money long before they ran out of illness and the drugs that saved them were developed in Europe. One of their doctors left the States because she couldn't get her cancer research funded. It wasn't profitable enough.
  • There is no excuse for there being only a single Republican vote for this. Net Neutrality is a completely non-partisan issue with majority support from voters on both sides of the isle. Any politician that doesn't vote for it is complete scum and needs to be kicked out of office.
  • Half Measures (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElizabethGreene ( 1185405 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @09:05AM (#55938001)

    I disagree with this approach. If Congress wants Net Neutrality they should write it as a law, not just force the FCC to not repeal the existing rule which DOES NOT apply to wireless carriers.

    Wireless carriers will be the big winners here. It gives them freedom their wired carriers don't have.

    • Writing it as a new law requires overcoming some arcane legislative procedures. Most notably, you'd need 60 votes in the Senate to get to an actual vote on the bill.

      That's why the Republicans passed the "review" law that is being used here. The Republicans repeatedly could not find 60 votes to block the regulations they wanted to block. So they changed the rules so that they only need 50 votes.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Democrats changed the rules so they only need 50 votes. That was back when they held majority in the senate FYI.

        • Democrats changed the rules so they only need 50 votes. That was back when they held majority in the senate FYI.

          Nope. Democrats changed the rules on nominations for Federal judges.

          That change has no effect on executive department regulations, since judges are not regulations, nor in the executive branch.

    • by bigpat ( 158134 )

      I disagree with this approach. If Congress wants Net Neutrality they should write it as a law, not just force the FCC to not repeal the existing rule which DOES NOT apply to wireless carriers.

      Wireless carriers will be the big winners here. It gives them freedom their wired carriers don't have.

      I only disagree with this approach because it doesn't look like it will work so it appears to be more posturing than actual lawmaking. Yes a full law (with some clear short term exceptions for encouraging real infrastructure investments that will eventually improve service for everyone) would be preferable.

      Otherwise if they can cobble together a few more votes in the Senate and a bipartisan majority in the House and just get president Trump to sign it because it appears to be popular enough then so be it

  • ... "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    If they are short one vote, then they are still short.

    Also, my understanding of US law is somewhat limited, but I thought the president could still veto a proposal like this, and that being the case, they are actually *two* votes shy of restoring it.... and to that end, for all intents and purposes, they may as well still be 50 votes away.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @09:54AM (#55938315)

    The USA is a free market, and this means at it basist level NO goverment regulations to put corrupt cronies and fat cat union bosses in charge of critical infastructure such as the internet. That is why I am not surprised that the democrat party are acting so unamerican in their attempt to over ride the duly elected goverment decision to deregulate the internet to bring more freedom and more competition to the market. Really really sad and pathetic attempt at hurting President Pai who is the best FCC president in history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @10:13AM (#55938453)

    ... the laughing stock of the world. Keep it up!

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