Heitkamp, other senators push to restore net neutrality


North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp joined 48 other senators today supporting a vote on reinstating the net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission dropped last month.

Net neutrality essentially means Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, must provide the same level of digital access to all customers served. ISPs would also be prohibited from blocking, slowing down or discriminating against online content.

In April, the FCC rescinded a set of net neutrality rules it had earlier supported.

The 49 lawmakers, through a “discharge petition,” want to vote as early as next week to force the FCC to implement the net neutrality rules.

Only 30 senators are needed to sign on and force a Senate vote using the Congressional Review Act — a vote that can’t be filibustered or blocked by the Senate majority leader.

Under the act, Congress can overturn a federal agency rule by a simple majority vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

North Dakota’s other senator, John Hoeven, has not signed the discharge petition.

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