“When the agency rolled back net neutrality protections, it gave broadband providers the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content,” said Pai’s Democratic colleague, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “This decision put the FCC on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.”


In an era in which Americans seem sharply divided on nearly everything of political consequence, net neutrality is a rare unifying issue. As oft-cited by supporters of the Save the Internet Act, some 86 percent of Americans oppose the Trump administration’s decision to dismantle the Obama-era rules, including 82 percent of Republicans, according to a 2018 survey by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland.

But as the ability of net neutrality to drive voters to the ballot box on Election Day remains purely hypothetical, Republicans have largely ignored its popularity among constituents, opting instead to carry water for some of the country’s most widely despised corporations.


The future of the Save the Internet Act remains up in the air, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised the bill will be “dead on arrival in the Senate.” Last year, three Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—broke ranks and supported a resolution to reinstate the 2015 rules.

“Americans of all political stripes support putting net neutrality rules back on the books, because when you pay your monthly broadband bill, you should be able access all the content on the internet at the same speed without interference or throttling by your broadband provider,” said Senator Edward Markey, who’s introduced a companion bill in the upper chamber.


The White House on Monday threatened to veto the bill. Even with the aid of the Senate’s two independents, Democrats would need to wrangle an additional 10 Republican votes to override a veto.

“As this crucial legislation heads to the Senate, industry lobbyists want people to believe it doesn’t have a chance,” added Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the pro-net neutrality group Free Press. “They want to discourage people from showing up and urging their senators to vote in favor of the Save the Internet Act. That won’t work.”