PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 80
(Senate - May 16, 2018)

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[Pages S2698-S2709]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE 
                   FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the joint resolution.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (S.J. Res. 52) providing for 
     congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United 
     States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal 
     Communications Commission relating to ``Restoring Internet 
     Freedom.''

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to the provisions of the 
Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 802, there will be up to 10 hours of 
debate, equally divided between those favoring and opposing the 
resolution.
  Who yields time?
  If no one yields time, time will be equally divided between the 
sides.
  The Democratic leader.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, as the minority, we typically cannot 
move legislation on the floor without the consent of the majority 
leader. But under the rules governing congressional review, any group 
of 30 Senators can petition to discharge a CRA--a Congressional Review 
Act--from the committee and bring it to the floor subject to a majority 
vote. That is what Senator Markey has just done with the CRA on net 
neutrality, and the vote that just concluded means the full Senate will 
now consider it, because I believe there were 52 votes in favor.
  For the first time in this Congress, the majority will be called to 
vote on an issue that I suspect they would rather avoid.
  Net neutrality is a complex issue, but an incredibly consequential 
one. At stake is the future of the internet, which until this point in 
our history, has remained free and open, accessible and affordable to 
most Americans. That fundamental equality of access is what has made 
the internet so dynamic--a catalyst for innovation, a tool for 
learning, a means of instant and worldwide communication.
  To ensure the internet stayed that way, the Obama-era FCC instituted 
net neutrality rules to prevent large internet service providers from 
segmenting the internet into fast and slow lanes, from selling faster 
service to folks who could pay and slower service to others--we didn't 
want that--and from charging customers more for their favorite sites, 
divvying up the internet into packages like cable TV.
  Why was this so important? Because if large cable and internet 
companies were allowed to do this, the internet wouldn't operate on a 
level playing field. Big corporations and folks who could pay would 
enjoy the benefits of fast internet and speedy delivery to their 
customers while startups and small businesses, public schools, average 
folks, including communities of color and rural Americans, could well 
be disadvantaged. Net neutrality protected everyone and prevented large 
ISPs from discriminating against any customers.
  That era--the era of a free and open internet--unfortunately will 
soon come to an end. In December, the Republican-led FCC voted to 
repeal the net neutrality rules, and on June 11 of this year, that 
repeal will go into effect. It may not be a cataclysm on day one, but 
sure as rain, if internet service providers are given the ability to 
start charging more for preferred service, they will find a way to do 
it.
  So the Democratic position is very simple: Let's treat the internet 
like the public good that it is. We don't let water companies or phone 
companies discriminate against customers. We don't restrict access to 
interstate highways, saying: You can ride on the highway, and you 
can't. We shouldn't do that with the internet either. That is what the 
Democratic net neutrality CRA would ensure.
  We appreciate that three Republicans joined on the motion to proceed 
to our resolution. We hope more will come with us.
  Where do Republicans stand on this issue? Why haven't we heard much 
from them on this issue, when it is a typical issue that protects the 
middle class, working families, and average Americans from big special 
interests taking advantage of them?
  I suspect our colleagues are kind of quiet on this issue because the 
arguments made by opponents of net neutrality aren't very convincing. 
Some opponents say that net neutrality is an unwarranted and burdensome 
regulation--something that hampers the internet. I would remind those 
critics that net neutrality has been on the books for several years and 
the internet is working just fine. Furthermore, the net neutrality 
rules were upheld by the courts as appropriate consumer protection.
  Yet we will hear too many of my Republican friends say that we 
shouldn't restore net neutrality through this CRA because we need 
bipartisan legislation to deal with this issue. That argument is a 
duck. It is a dodge. It is a way for my Republican friends to delay.
  Democrats are happy to do bipartisan legislation to enshrine net 
neutrality into law, but the legislation is going to take time. In the 
meantime, we must ensure consumers have a safety net right now, and 
this CRA is the quickest

[[Page S2699]]

and surest way of doing it. Plain and simple, if you are for net 
neutrality, you ought to be for Senator Markey's CRA.
  This issue presents a stark contrast: Are you on the side of the 
large internet and cable companies or are you on the side of the 
average American family? That is what the vote on this legislation is 
all about.
  I say to every American who cares about an open and free internet: 
Today is the day. Contact your Republican Senator. See who votes for 
net neutrality and who votes against, and let them know how you feel 
about the way they voted. This is our chance--our best chance--to make 
sure the internet stays accessible and affordable for all Americans.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Madam President, I rise today in support of net 
neutrality. Let me say that again. I rise in support of net neutrality.
  Contrary to the assertions that some of our colleagues on the left 
have made, there are many of us who believe that codifying net 
neutrality principles makes sense if we really want to solve this 
problem. What doesn't make sense is this misguided resolution.
  All of us value the internet. It connects us to commerce, friends, 
family, news, learning opportunities, and entertainment. Most Americans 
expect their internet experience to remain free from meddling by 
anyone. It doesn't matter if it is a cable company or an unelected 
bureaucrat, Americans appreciate online freedom.
  If this resolution offered these protections and simply implemented 
widely supported net neutrality principles, I would support it. 
Unfortunately, this isn't the case.
  The resolution offered by Senator Markey would impose partisan, 
onerous, and heavyhanded regulations on the internet.
  Some of these regulations lack a fundamental connection to net 
neutrality principles and harm consumer freedom. Net neutrality, for 
example, isn't about regulating mobile phone plan offerings to meet a 
government internet standard. But the Markey resolution would restore 
rules that the Obama Federal Communications Commission used to 
scrutinize such popular and affordable plans.
  Net neutrality principles don't necessitate government rate 
regulation on companies working to connect Americans in rural areas--
places like my State of South Dakota--or on upgrading existing 
networks. But, again, the Chairman of the Obama FCC nonetheless 
defended the need for broad authority to threaten rate regulation, and 
that is exactly what the Markey resolution seeks to restore. The 
implicit threat of such government intervention and statements can have 
a profound impact on innovation and the 21st century internet.
  The internet has certainly thrived under a model that rejects data 
discrimination. Needless to say, before 2015, it had never before faced 
such a threat of increased government control. Net neutrality--the idea 
that legal internet traffic should operate transparently and without 
discrimination--doesn't represent the heavy hand of government. The 
heavy hand of government is, however, plain to see in the plan that 
Democrats first passed in 2015 and are now seeking to reimpose.
  The Democrats' plan relies on a legal framework passed by Congress in 
the 1930s to regulate telephone monopolies. This framework existed for 
an era and technology that lacked competition and the entrepreneurship 
of today's internet-based economy.
  Last year, the new leadership at the Federal Communications 
Commission widely discarded these rules. Net neutrality wasn't the 
problem. The Commission's concern was that onerous, depression-era 
rules were having an adverse effect on efforts to connect more 
Americans to the internet and upgrade service. For Congress, the path 
to restore net neutrality protections while avoiding these unnecessary 
side effects is straightforward legislation.
  This is what the Los Angeles Times had to say about this in their 
editorial. Last week, the editorial board of California's largest 
newspaper wrote an important analysis in an editorial entitled ``Senate 
Democrats move to revive net neutrality rules--the wrong way.'' The 
Times wrote:

       Rather than jousting over a resolution of disapproval, 
     Congress needs to put this issue to bed once and for all by 
     crafting a bipartisan deal giving the commission limited but 
     clear authority to regulate broadband providers and preserve 
     net neutrality.

  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the editorial be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2018]

  Senate Democrats Move To Revive Net Neutrality Rules--the Wrong Way

                     (By the Times Editorial Board)

       Senate Democrats opened up a new front Wednesday in the 
     fight to preserve the internet from interference by the 
     broadband providers that control its on-ramps. But as good as 
     it was to see them push back against the wrongheaded approach 
     taken by the new Republican majority on the Federal 
     Communications Commission, the maneuver is likely to be more 
     of a distraction than a solution.
       At issue is how to preserve net neutrality. Broadband 
     providers that serve home internet users face little real 
     competition, and they are uniquely positioned to distort 
     competition online by, for example, favoring particular 
     websites and services for a fee.
       After several earlier net-neutrality efforts ran into legal 
     trouble, the FCC's Democratic majority in 2015 classified 
     broadband access service as a utility and imposed a set of 
     strict neutrality rules. Last year, however, the commission's 
     new Republican majority voted not just to rescind those 
     rules, but effectively to drop all efforts by the FCC to 
     preserve net neutrality.
       On Wednesday, Senate Democrats moved to force a vote on a 
     resolution to restore the 2015 rules, and they have 50 
     Senators lined up in support. Yet the resolution faces next-
     to-insurmountable odds in the House, where top Republicans 
     have praised the FCC's deregulatory approach, and with like-
     minded President Trump. The most meaningful fights will take 
     place in the courts and in state legislatures, where net 
     neutrality supporters are seeking to restore the 2015 rules 
     or impose similar ones at the state level.
       Even opponents of the strict 2015 rules recognize that the 
     continual legal and regulatory gyrations are a problem. 
     Rather than jousting over a resolution of disapproval, 
     Congress needs to put this issue to bed once and for all by 
     crafting a bipartisan deal giving the commission limited but 
     clear authority to regulate broadband providers and preserve 
     net neutrality.

  Mr. THUNE. Madam President, in my hand, I hold the 2015 draft text of 
legislation I released with my colleagues in the House of 
Representatives, Congressman Fred Upton and Congressman  Greg Walden. 
Since 2015, I have publicly and consistently been ready to work with my 
colleagues across the aisle on bipartisan net neutrality legislation. 
Specifically, my draft proposed giving Federal regulators new authority 
to ban blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of legal internet 
content. It did this without relying on the heavyhanded use of law 
written to police phone monopolies, which is what we are talking about 
here. We are talking about a 1934 law governing the 21st-century 
internet. Think about that. That is precisely what this resolution 
would do.
  I recognize that this draft legislation I came up with isn't perfect. 
My draft obviously did not anticipate all the concerns my colleagues 
raised, and of course there is always room for compromise. That is what 
legislative discussion and legislative negotiation are all about. But I 
need a partner from the other side of the aisle who shares my 
commitment to crafting a bipartisan solution that puts net neutrality 
first.
  Some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have certainly 
expressed a view about the need for legislation. Some of them come up 
to me privately, offline, and say: You are right. We need to do this 
legislatively. We need to put clear rules of the road in place. This is 
not the way to solve this problem.
  But very few of them are willing to say that publicly. My colleague 
and the distinguished ranking member of the Commerce Committee's 
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology told the publication 
TechCrunch only 6 months ago: ``My point of view--and by the way, I had 
this point of view when it was President Obama and Tom Wheeler [at the 
FCC at the time], to the chagrin of my progressive friends--is that we 
should legislate.''
  This statement was made with knowledge and virtually on the eve of 
the FCC's final vote to disassemble the 2015 rule. So what changed? Why 
aren't we debating a bipartisan bill instead of

[[Page S2700]]

this partisan resolution? Some on the other side of the aisle reached 
the cynical conclusion that exploiting concern about the internet 
outweighed the value of working with Republicans to pass net neutrality 
protections. For others who had a genuine desire to work with me, the 
forces of a highly politicized campaign to impose a Democrat-only 
solution can overwhelm the best of intentions.
  Make no mistake--the campaign behind this Congressional Review Act 
resolution has been primarily driven by fearmongering hypotheticals, 
misdirection, and outright false claims. To make that point, this 
March, the Washington Post Fact Checker took Senate Democrats to task 
for a particularly egregious claim that failure to pass the Markey 
resolution would lead to a slower internet. The fact check concluded 
that the examined claim--made through the Democratic caucus's official 
Twitter account--conveyed the false impression that a slowdown is 
imminent. Fact Checker wrote that ``there's scant evidence that 
Internet users should brace for a slowdown.'' What that meant is that 
statement by the Democratic caucus on this particular subject got not 
one, not two, but three Pinocchios from the Washington Post for being a 
false claim--from the Washington Post Fact Checker.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the March 5, 2018, Fact 
Checker be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the Washington Post, Mar. 5, 2018]

   Will the FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal Grind the Internet to a Halt?

                          (By Salvador Rizzo)

``If we don't save net neutrality, you'll get the Internet one word at 
      a time.''--U.S. Senate Democrats, in a tweet, Feb. 27, 2018


                           The Pinocchio Test

       The debate over net neutrality is reshaping the Internet 
     and raising big-picture questions about modern life. But we 
     can't help but feel that we've spilled a lot of pixels here 
     analyzing something that simply hasn't happened.
       Senate Democrats, industry leaders and net neutrality 
     activists say the FCC's move to toss out the Obama-era rules 
     will bog down and end the Internet as we know it. The biggest 
     broadband providers forcefully reject this claim, saying they 
     have no plans to block or throttle content or offer paid 
     prioritization.
       That could change in time. As the D.C. Circuit said, 
     broadband companies could make more money from paid 
     prioritization, and it's ``common sense'' to think they might 
     try it. These providers have the ability and the incentive to 
     slow down or speed up Internet traffic, and they've engaged 
     in these practices in the past.
       For now, though, there's scant evidence that Internet users 
     should brace for a slowdown. Yet the Democrats' tweet conveys 
     the false impression that a slowdown is imminent unless net 
     neutrality rules are restored. This transmission error merits 
     Three Pinocchios, but we will monitor the situation and 
     update our ruling depending on whether the fears were 
     overstated or came true.
       Three Pinocchios
       (Senate Commerce Committee note: the submission to the 
     Senate Record includes only the conclusion of the Washington 
     Post's fact check story.)

  Mr. THUNE. In reality, all major cable and phone providers have said 
they will continue net neutrality policies. Under the new rules being 
put in place, Federal agencies can still take action against privacy 
violations and unfair business practices by internet companies.
  In stark contrast, one unavoidable irony of the Markey resolution, as 
observed by an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, is that it 
would actually weaken online consumer privacy protections by taking the 
only agency enforcing them off the beat. If this resolution were 
ultimately to be enacted--which it won't, but if it were, it would take 
the Federal Trade Commission, which currently regulates and polices 
privacy issues, completely out of the equation.
  To be sure, Congress still needs to set long-term protections for the 
internet, and it shouldn't delay. But the significant harm uncertainty 
inflicts on the internet will manifest itself through stifled 
investment and innovation over time rather than on consumers in a 
sudden wave of net neutrality violations. That is just a simple fact.
  After all, the new rules, approved under the Trump administration, 
closely follow those that long regulated the internet before 2015 and 
are largely, although not completely, in effect now.
  One thing I want to continue to hammer is that what we are talking 
about here are the rules that were in place for the first two decades 
of the internet. For the first two decades of the internet, we operated 
under what was called a light-touch approach to regulation. Under that 
regime of light touch, the internet prospered, flourished, grew, 
expanded, and innovated to the point where it has become a huge 
economic engine in our economy. So what was the 2015 FCC ruling 
designed to solve? That, frankly, is a very good question. But the fact 
is, what the FCC is proposing to do and will do on June 11 of this year 
is to go back to the 2015 rules--the rules that were in place for the 
first two decades of the internet.
  I would tell you that on June 12, after these rules go into effect, 
no consumer in this country is going to see any change from what they 
see today. They are still going to be able to watch the internet--they 
are still going to be to go to all their favorite social media 
platforms. There isn't going to be any change from what we have seen up 
to this point because that is what we are going back to--our rules that 
were in place for two decades, under a light-touch regulatory approach, 
that allowed the internet to explode and prosper and grow.
  The Markey resolution is offered to this body without opportunity for 
amendment or any bipartisan input about what the rules governing the 
internet should say. A vote against the Markey resolution is a vote for 
ending this cynical exploitation of the internet. A vote against the 
Markey resolution is a vote for the Senate to get to work on bipartisan 
net neutrality legislation. That is what the L.A. Times said: Pass 
legislation. That is the best way to solve this, not coming up with 
this bizarre exercise, which we all know isn't going anywhere but will 
give the activists and the donors out there on the far left an 
opportunity to take this campaign to the House of Representatives, 
where it isn't going anywhere. Of course it would be vetoed by the 
President even if it did. So all we are doing is stalling, delaying, 
making it more difficult to get to a solution on this because what it 
will do is prevent those who are truly interested in a bipartisan 
solution and answer on net neutrality from coming to the table in order 
to make that happen.
  As I have said, we have been working on this for a long time, and I 
have been looking for a Democratic partner. All we need are a few 
courageous Democrats who are willing to acknowledge what this is--which 
is a political, partisan charade--and get serious about bipartisan 
legislation, because there isn't going to be a single amendment that 
can be offered to this. This is not going anywhere.
  If we really, truly want to solve the problem, there are fairminded 
people who are serious about this who would like to sit down across the 
table and work on a draft of legislation that would put internet 
principles in place and would put consumer protections in place but 
would use a light-touch regulatory approach--not the 1930s approach 
this resolution would turn to--to regulate the 21st-century internet. 
Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why any rational, reasonable 
person could come to the conclusion that using a 1934 law and 
regulating the internet like a public utility--a Ma Bell telephone 
company--would be the right approach in the age in which we live where 
the internet is thriving and prosperous under a light-touch regulatory 
regime.


                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2853

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that S.J. Res. 52 be returned 
to the calendar and the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration 
of S. 2853. I further ask that it be in order for 10 amendments, 
equally divided, between the managers or their designees and relative 
to the bill to be made pending; further, that there be 10 hours of 
debate, equally divided between the managers or their designees, and 
that upon the use or yielding back of that time, the Senate vote on any 
pending amendments; finally, that upon disposition of the amendments, 
the bill, as amended, if amended, be considered read a third time and 
the Senate vote on passage of the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). Is there objection?
  The Senator from Massachusetts.

[[Page S2701]]

  

  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, Senator 
Thune's bill is problematic both substantively and procedurally. There 
have been no committee hearings on his proposal, and it is not yet ripe 
for consideration here on the Senate floor. As a result, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, what you just heard is an objection to 
having a reasonable debate.
  To the point that the Senator from Massachusetts made, clearly the 
unanimous consent request asks for--calls for--an opportunity to have 
amendments considered by both sides of this discussion. What that tells 
me is that what this is about isn't serious legislating; it is about, 
again, the political theater associated with this congressional 
resolution of disapproval, which has absolutely no future, is going 
nowhere, and does nothing to address the fundamental underlying problem 
that colleagues on both sides acknowledge needs to be address.
  For the record, I will point out that we did attempt to bring up a 
serious piece of legislation, one that provides consumer protection, 
that bans blocking lawful content, that bans the throttling of lawful 
content, that bans paid prioritization--the very things most of my 
colleagues on the other side want addressed.
  Frankly, no piece of legislation is perfect, and I would say to my 
colleague from Massachusetts that we would be more than willing to 
enter into a discussion and a debate, with an opportunity to offer 
amendments, in order to perfect this piece of legislation. But, 
frankly, if we continue down this path with the CRA, all we are going 
to do is waste more time--valuable time, I might add--and continue to 
live in a cloud of uncertainty where one FCC to the next continues to 
change the rules and where companies spend millions of dollars in 
litigation in courtrooms on lawsuits rather than ploughing it into 
infrastructure, investment, and new and innovative technologies that 
literally could deliver higher speed, faster internet services and 
higher quality services to people around this country, including those 
in rural areas who desperately need those types of services made 
available to them.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, only in Washington, DC, and perhaps 
only in the walls of this Capitol, is net neutrality regarded as a 
partisan issue. Only here are there accusations that the left or the 
right favor a position on net neutrality. In the rest of America, net 
neutrality is bipartisan; in fact, nonpolitical. It is the lifeblood of 
the internet. It is the animating principle that enables companies and 
individuals to have equal access to the internet without blocking, 
discriminating, price gouging, or favoring of some companies at the 
expense of others.
  In fact, in legislatures across the country, like Connecticut, there 
have been proposals to do there what we are seeking to do here; that 
is, to preserve an open internet in accordance with the open internet 
order, which has been rolled back by the FCC. Strong net neutrality 
rules are accepted across the country on both sides of the aisle in 
State legislatures and State governments, in board rooms, and in all 
the communities where people come together seeking to communicate and 
use the internet in the highest and best way it can be used. One 
example, in New Haven, is SeeClickFix. SeeClickFix is a New Haven 
company that helps citizens communicate with their local governments to 
improve their community. The internet's incredible economic success and 
this company's have been made possible because it is a free and open 
platform. This company has a good idea. It can put that good idea to 
work, helping people make their local and State governments work better 
and be more responsive.
  That success story has been repeated countless times because of net 
neutrality and the open internet. We are here to stop maligned 
rulemaking run amok. The FCC, under the leadership of its Chairman, 
has, in effect, rolled back the progress that was made with the open 
internet order. It defied 10 years of evidence and the pattern of 
market consolidation and merger that endangered the open internet. It 
defied evidence of discrimination that was taken over the rulemaking 
process, and it basically ignored a court order upholding the open 
internet order--a court order that was the result of indepth and 
determined litigation to stop that order, and that effort was rejected.
  The Justice Department has shown, from AT&T's own internal documents, 
that it sought to use its merger with Time Warner to raise prices and 
to hinder competition from online video services. A proposed merger 
between T-Mobile and Sprint threatens to further reduce scarce 
competition in wireless. Big broadband companies have more financial 
incentive and less market deterrence to obstruct competition than ever 
before.
  Chairman Pai's plan would enable those broadband companies holding 
near-monopolies over access to consolidate even more power. If 
broadband companies are able to block, throttle, or charge fees for 
certain applications on websites, the result will be higher pricing, 
less innovation, and fewer new products. Reversal of net neutrality is 
a consumer's worst nightmare, but it is also a nightmare for small 
businesses and for competition and innovation and creativity in 
America.
  I urge my colleagues to support S.J. Res. 52, the resolution of 
disapproval of the FCC's disastrous plan to roll back net neutrality. 
It is vital to protecting consumers and small businesses, preserving 
the open internet, and upholding the integrity of the rulemaking 
process.
  If this effort fails to succeed, the challenge in the courts will 
overturn Chairman Pai's rollback of net neutrality because he embarked 
on a preordained purpose without proper rulemaking to overturn the rule 
adopted by the FCC before he became Chairman. When he initiated that 
process, he promised an ``open and transparent process,'' but the 
outcome was predetermined from the start. That is not the way 
rulemaking should occur. That is why the courts will overturn it, and 
that is why we should be protected and proactive in this body and pass 
S.J. Res. 52.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Ms. WARREN. Mr. President, at this very moment, a high school junior 
is reading a report online for a class paper she has due at the end of 
the week. Not far from her house, a single mom who recently quit her 
job to follow her dream of becoming an app developer is online teaching 
herself to code. In a city thousands of miles away, a small business 
owner is processing an order online to keep the lights on and the bills 
paid for another month. Every night in living rooms across this 
country, grandparents pick up their smartphones to video chat with 
newborn grandchildren who are hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
  Let's face it, the internet is intricately woven into the fabric of 
American society. It is a very important part of our lives, but right 
now our access to a fair and open internet is under siege. In December, 
the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, voted to eliminate the 
net neutrality protections that stop internet providers from blocking 
access, filtering content, or charging higher fees for fast lanes--
three tactics that giant internet companies want to use to control the 
internet.
  The repeal of these protections has corporate greed and corruption 
written all over it. This may be what the special interests want, but 
the American people are opposed to the very idea of a restricted 
internet. Net neutrality provisions are wildly popular. When it comes 
to a free and open internet, 83 percent of Americans are clear about 
their position. They want and demand a free and open internet. That is 
true for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and people from all 
backgrounds. You have to ask yourself, Why would the FCC vote to 
eliminate those protections?
  I will tell you why. Because under this administration, the FCC has 
become a puppet for giant internet providers. The FCC's current 
Chairman, Ajit Pai, has made it clear he will work to put special 
interests over what is good for the American people.

[[Page S2702]]

  The FCC was once an agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the 
public interest, but it has morphed into an agency that exists solely 
to do the bidding of giant telecom companies. It is a disgrace. Who can 
say we didn't see this coming? When Donald Trump won the White House, 
then-FCC Commissioner Pai said that net neutrality's days were 
numbered.
  Once Trump selected Pai to lead the FCC, Chairman Pai immediately got 
to work getting rid of net neutrality. He opened up a new public 
comment period, laying out a plan to destroy net neutrality, and he 
made it clear he would ignore the views of millions of Americans who 
weighed in to urge him to abandon that plan.
  The FCC received more comments on Chairman Pai's plan to kill net 
neutrality than any other rule in the FCC's history. Millions submitted 
comments opposing Chairman Pai's plan to kill net neutrality, but the 
FCC said it would ignore those comments unless they were, in its 
opinion, serious legal arguments. During the comment process, it was 
revealed that some of the comments had come from bots that had stolen 
Americans' identities and others had come from Russian addresses, but 
Pai dismissed those concerns. He demonstrated that, no matter what, he 
would forge ahead with his plan to hand over the internet to the 
biggest and most powerful internet providers.
  If Chairman Pai's plan is implemented, internet companies will 
literally get to set their own rules governing access to the internet. 
As long as they put their rules somewhere in the fine print, internet 
providers can pretty much do whatever they please. That is not the way 
government is supposed to work. The internet was created by a bunch of 
government and government-funded workers, and it is the government's 
job to protect Americans' access to a fair and open internet.
  The internet doesn't belong to giant internet companies. It belongs 
to the students striving to build a better future. It belongs to the 
young women and men working day and night on a new idea that will 
change the world. It belongs to the small business owner whose success 
depends on operating her business online. It belongs to the grandmas 
and grandpas, the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, and 
friends who depend on the internet to remain connected to the people 
they love. It belongs to people who like to watch their favorite shows 
online or read the news or shop or play video games or just browse the 
internet. It belongs to all of us.
  If the FCC will not stand up for the public interest, it is up to 
Congress to do so, but it will take this Republican-controlled Congress 
prying itself free from the grip of giant companies and doing what is 
right for the American people.
  Today, we can take the first step. I ask every one of my colleagues 
in the Senate to join me in voting yes on the CRA resolution to restore 
net neutrality provisions.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I am here to lift up the voices of the 
families I represent in the State of Washington who, like so many other 
Americans, agree the internet should be free and open; who agree our 
country should support small business owners and entrepreneurs and 
students and middle-class families, not big corporations and special 
interests; who agree that consumers, not broadband providers, should 
get to pick the websites they visit or applications they use; who agree 
the internet should be a level playing field that benefits end users 
and not slanted by broadband providers blocking content or charging for 
prioritized access.
  That is why so many of us are on the floor today, to give a voice to 
the vast majority of Americans who want the internet to remain a place 
that fosters innovation, economic opportunity, robust consumer choice, 
and the free flow of knowledge.
  These things are not a luxury. They are what make American ingenuity 
possible. As a former preschool teacher, I support net neutrality 
because it helps the next generation of innovators--our students, 
especially those in rural and low-income areas. Schools have worked 
very hard to improve access to high-speed connectivity for all students 
because they know, from early education through higher education, and 
through workforce training, students need high-speed internet in order 
to learn and get the skills they need. Their teachers need the internet 
to collaborate with colleagues, access educational materials, help 
students learn valuable research and internet safety skills, and expand 
access to a high-quality education for students with disabilities and 
English learners.
  Rolling back net neutrality threatens that educational equity and 
worsens the digital divide. So let's protect the free and open 
internet, not just for today's consumers but for our students--the next 
generation of American innovators. The choice could not be easier. 
Either we stand with everyday Americans or with the massive 
corporations that have found a new way to make more money off of them.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, I rise, along with my colleagues here, to 
speak in strong support of the resolution to restore strong net 
neutrality protections for Americans.
  This is, obviously, what the American people want. For the vote that 
was just taken on the motion to proceed, 52 for and 47 against, I think 
it shows how the American people's will is being expressed in a 
bipartisan way. The American people understand how important these 
protections are to their lives and to the future of the internet. They 
do not want to have their websites blocked or internet access slowed, 
and they certainly don't want internet providers making those decisions 
to block or slow.
  More than 20 million residents of Florida understand just how vital 
it is to have a free and open internet. I say that for my State, but 
that is, obviously, the same for every other State as well. Millions of 
schoolchildren in my State--from Pensacola to Orlando, to the Florida 
Keys--and across the entire country benefit from educations that are 
built on a free and open internet. That is why educators and librarians 
throughout the country have rallied in favor of net neutrality. They 
know that an internet that is no longer free and open is a lost 
educational opportunity for our children.
  Florida's colleges, universities, and technical schools rely on the 
free and open internet for their vital educational and research 
missions. Unfettered access to the internet is essential for research 
into issues that are critical to the State and Nation, such as medical 
research, climate change, sea level rise--whatever the research is.
  Florida's growing economy is equally reliant on a free and open 
internet. The growth of high-tech jobs all over the country and 
particularly in Florida, including the growth across the middle swath 
of Florida and the booming Space Coast has largely been built on 
advanced high-speed internet networks that have been available in those 
areas.
  Small businesses that are all around also use the internet as the 
great equalizer and bring the global marketplace to their very 
doorsteps, but that global market for those companies exists only as 
long as everyone on the internet is treated the same. If you start 
picking and choosing, then you lose the value of that equalizing, of a 
small company's having a great idea and having access to the 
information just like a big company has.
  Citizens throughout my home State rely on the internet for civic and 
social engagement. The internet is today's social forum--the tool we 
use to stay engaged in the lives of family, friends, and peers.
  The internet can also be an equalizing force. As such, it has been a 
place where communities of color have been able to tell their own 
stories in a way that they have never been able to before. It has given 
minority communities the power to organize, to share, and to support 
each other's causes. To limit access to the net would be to help 
silence these voices that are just beginning to be heard. I don't think 
we want to do that.

[[Page S2703]]

  Congress must ensure that the internet remains open to all--thus, the 
vote that we have coming up in just about an hour and a half. 
Unfortunately, the FCC has empowered internet providers to dictate 
consumers' experiences online. What the Chairman of the Federal 
Communications Commission did, Ajit Pai, is to go overboard in what he 
has tried. This Senator has spoken over and over for moderation in the 
approaches to how the FCC would be involved with regard to regulating 
the internet. When websites can be blocked, when downloads can be 
slowed, and when consumers then have to pay more to access what they 
are actually looking for--that is not a free and open internet. It 
becomes a closed internet.
  I am very happy to be on the Senate floor with all of these other 
Senators who have spoken in favor of restoring the FCC's net neutrality 
protections. The resolution before us immediately restores the FCC's 
strong consumer protections for the internet. It will make sure that 
the internet content cannot be blocked or cannot be throttled. It will 
prevent internet providers from charging more for transmitting certain 
favored content. It will preserve the FCC's authority to examine other 
practices that could harm consumers, and it will make sure that 
consumers will be given understandable, basic information about their 
internet services. It is necessary that this Congress protect 
consumers' access to the internet.
  The choice before us today is clear. A vote in favor of this 
resolution is a vote to restore the free and open internet. It is a 
vote to keep control of the internet in the hands of those who use it. 
Congress must undo the FCC's decision to turn its back on American 
consumers by stripping away net neutrality. The American public ought 
to be what we consider first. So I am happy to support this resolution. 
I call on my colleagues to join us in protecting a free and open 
internet.
  In closing, this Senator, as one of the leaders of the Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation Committee, has so often spoken in favor of 
the two sides getting together and negotiating legislation because we 
keep going on this roller coaster whereby the FCC does one thing and, 
then, the roller coaster goes the other way and it does another thing, 
and each time it acts, it goes to court. Ultimately, there ought to be 
a legislative solution.
  Today is about taking a stand on the excessive action by the FCC so 
that we can make sure to protect the free and open internet and give 
the ingenuity and creativity and Yankee inventiveness of this country 
the opportunity to continue to blossom by using this new technological 
tool that has been, virtually, put into use in the past decade. We 
don't want that internet throttled and limited. It needs to be free and 
open.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr President, millions of Americans were outraged last 
year when the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, voted to repeal 
the strong and enforceable net neutrality rules that were adopted in 
2015. As a supporter of a free and open internet, I share the public's 
outrage over the loss of these critical protections, which is why I am 
voting in favor of this resolution to restore the previous rules.
  By repealing net neutrality rules, the FCC and its supporters in 
Congress have achieved little more than to plunge consumers and small 
businesses into a fog of uncertainty. Instead of having concrete legal 
protections in place against blocking, throttling, and paid 
prioritization, internet users now have little more than vague promises 
from broadband providers about how they will treat content online. 
These promises could disappear with little notice or no recourse for 
those affected. This is the wrong way to approach policy for the 
greatest engine of economic growth and free speech ever devised.
  The uncertainty created by Republicans at the FCC and blessed by too 
many here in Congress jeopardizes the success of small businesses and 
startups across the country. One of the main concerns I hear from small 
businesses in Vermont is fear of paid prioritization. Without clear 
rules in place, broadband providers can set up pay-to-play schemes that 
disadvantage small businesses against deep-pocketed competitors.
  In a pay-to-play online world, small businesses will be forced to 
decide whether or not to pay tolls in order to avoid being stuck in the 
slow lane. These tolls do nothing to promote innovation, but they would 
impose a tremendous cost on entrepreneurs. These costs would come at 
the expense of investing in new equipment, new products, or new jobs. 
For those who choose not to pay, the cost would be access to customers, 
who today already make decisions based on how fast a page or 
application loads. A few seconds of lag time can mean the difference 
between a sale made or a sale lost to a competitor.
  Net neutrality rules matter because they provide small businesses 
with the certainty that paid prioritization will not happen. The 
promises and statements made by leading broadband providers following 
the repeal of the rules too often make no mention at all of their 
stance on paid prioritization. Others have quietly deleted promises not 
to engage in this behavior from their website. In February, the CEO of 
Sprint was quoted comparing the internet to roads, saying that, on many 
roads, ``you have a faster road and you pay more. There's nothing wrong 
with that.'' Concerns about paid prioritization cannot be dismissed 
when CEOs of leading companies are speaking openly about the benefits 
of toll roads on the internet.
  This should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike 
should want to provide the small business community with the certainty 
that the internet will remain an equal playing field. The simple 
reality is that, without net neutrality rules, this certainty will not 
exist. The resolution we are considering today gives us the clearest 
path to restoring that certainty. I urge all Senators to stand with the 
American people, small businesses, and startups in supporting this 
resolution.
  Mr. NELSON. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, in December, the FCC made a colossal 
mistake by rolling back net neutrality protections. Today, the Senate 
has an opportunity to begin the process of righting that wrong with an 
up-or-down vote to overturn the FCC's repeal and to restore the free 
and open internet.
  This is a big deal. We just had a vote with all Democrats, 
Independents, and three Republicans, and we have another vote at around 
3 o'clock. If we fail, the FCC will end net neutrality protections in 
early June. But if we succeed, then this fight will go on to the next 
step in the House of Representatives.
  This vote is a no-brainer. Net neutrality is one of the most popular 
issues that the Senate will consider this year. There is no other issue 
that polls so decisively on one side. A survey by the University of 
Maryland found that 83 percent of people are in favor of net 
neutrality, and that includes 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of 
Democrats, and 86 percent of Independents.
  When you think about people's experience with their ISP, it makes 
perfect sense. People are already frustrated with the limited 
competitive options for the providers they have. Then, once they sign 
up for service, they find there are hidden fees. They have to pay for 
the installation. They have to wait for the installation. They have to 
rent the cable box. Their bill suddenly goes up within a year of 
service, finding out they were only engaged in a promotional offer. In 
other words, many people don't like their internet service providers. 
They like the internet, but they don't like the lack of choice and all 
the hassle and expense that comes with getting on the internet.
  So if you ask people if we should get rid of the rules that actually 
give consumers control over their internet access, if we should give 
broadband companies more power over our lives, they say no. Providers 
promise to be good to consumers. In fact, many of them have said that 
they don't need the FCC to

[[Page S2704]]

maintain a free and open internet because they are already officially 
committed to the idea. But without net neutrality, there is nothing in 
the law that prevents companies from treating content or websites 
differently.
  In fact, many of these publicly traded companies--once the dust 
settles, once the politics of this net neutrality issue wanes--will be 
talking to their chief financial officers, and their board of directors 
will be asking: Why are you not maximizing revenue? Why are you not 
charging consumers more when you can?
  If the answer is ``In the process of trying to prevent a piece of 
legislation from passing, we made a promise,'' the board of directors 
will say ``Well, change your mind.''
  The only thing that can stop a corporation that provides broadband 
services to consumers from doing all the wrong things is a law. It is 
not a promise; it is a law.
  So the question for the Senate is very simple: Whose side are you on? 
Are you for the consumers who are asking us to protect the internet or 
are you with the telecommunications companies?
  I want to be really clear here. There is no constituency on the other 
side of this, other than the telecommunications companies. You don't go 
to a townhall meeting and see this thing evenly split. When we were 
debating the Iran deal or the Affordable Care Act or an infrastructure 
bill or the tax bill, even in a deep blue State like Hawaii or a deep 
red State like those of some of my colleagues, there are always people 
on both sides of the issue. I have not met one human being in Hawaii 
who is against net neutrality, and I challenge anyone out there to find 
someone who is against net neutrality. The only constituency for this 
is the people who would benefit from what the FCC has already done.
  Some are pointing to a bill in the House that would take care of a 
few of the problems that come with getting rid of net neutrality. But 
when you dig a little deeper, it is clear that this is not a 
compromise. It doesn't offer close to the protection that net 
neutrality gives consumers and small businesses. In fact, it gives 
these ISPs the ability to charge small businesses and consumers more 
money for different types of content, and that is the crux of the 
issue. Again, go ask a consumer or a small business owner, and they 
will tell you that they are already frustrated with internet providers, 
and they expect Congress to do the right thing and look out for their 
interests.
  This issue is incredibly important to young people. They have grown 
up on the internet. It is part of their lives, and they do not want 
Congress to stand by and do nothing as this FCC allows internet 
providers to change the way we access the internet.
  It is clear to me that net neutrality is popular among everyone--
older people, young people, small business owners, Republicans, 
Democrats, Independents, red States, and blue States. It is also clear 
that the benefits of the ISPs do not come close to outweighing the 
benefits that students, businesses, schools, families, and others will 
get from a free and open internet.
  With this vote, every Member of the Senate will be on the record for 
or against net neutrality. I hope every Member will choose to vote the 
way nearly all of America wants us to and restore net neutrality.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cotton). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I was in a conversation with a group of 
Oklahomans just last week, and the issue of net neutrality came up in 
that conversation. A gentleman there who had published his content on 
the internet seemed very concerned about net neutrality and wanted to 
make sure that the content he had he could continue to publish, and he 
would not have to go to every single ISP--internet service provider--
across the country and negotiate a deal with them. That is what happens 
with net neutrality.
  I said: It is very interesting. Has that happened to you? Have you 
faced that?
  He said: No, but I am afraid I might.
  Here is the problem we have with this conversation about net 
neutrality. For 20 years, the internet functioned under a very clear 
set of rules. The Federal Trade Commission had a set of rules both for 
content providers and for the fiber--the internet service providers. 
There was a clear set of rules. They couldn't violate any trade 
practices. They couldn't do monopolies. They couldn't violate the basic 
rules of commerce. There was a very clear set of rules.
  Then, 2 years ago, the FCC--the FTC is the Federal Trade Commission, 
and the FTC has been the one regulating the internet for two decades. 
The FCC decided they wanted to regulate not the content and the 
internet service providers, just the internet service providers. So the 
FCC, in an unprecedented ruling that had already gone to court multiple 
times and failed, grabbed the regulatory control from the FTC and said: 
We will take the internet service providers, and we will manage them, 
and you keep the content folks. That is the fight we are in right now.
  It is the funniest thing to me to be in a conversation about net 
neutrality because the implication is that the internet will not be 
free if the government doesn't regulate it with this particular 
entity--the FCC. When I ask people ``Would it be OK if the government 
regulated with the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission?'' most people say 
``Well, that would be fine too.'' Well, good, because that is the way 
it has been for 20 years. For 20 years, there has been one set of rules 
on the superhighway of the internet--the Federal Trade Commission.
  Here is what I would like to say to people who are trying to listen 
in and trying to figure this out: Most of the arguments and the fights 
that have come about cost increases and about paid prioritization and 
about blocking and about people monitoring content haven't been from 
the internet service providers. It has been from the content folks.
  You tell me, when you go to your news feed on whatever social media 
site you go to or whatever news site you go to, are there paid 
commercials that come up first, and then your friends come up second? 
Probably most of the time. Are there certain bits of content that you 
pay more for if you are on Facebook? You can put this out, but you will 
reach more people if you pay for it? Yes. But that is not net 
neutrality.
  The argument about net neutrality doesn't have anything to do with 
those content folks. It is about the internet service providers. So why 
do I bring this up?
  Here is what has happened. Over the past 2 years, America has been 
drawn into a fight between two sets of megacompanies. Google, Facebook, 
and Netflix are at war with AT&T, Comcast, and all the major internet 
service providers. You have the content folks on the web fighting with 
the internet service providers that actually provide the fiber that 
connects the content. They are fighting over their business, and the 
way the content providers have worded it, they have said: We want the 
internet to be neutral. We don't want to have customers pay more for 
certain content, and we don't want the internet service providers to 
charge more based on that content, while the whole time the content 
folks are charging people for the type of content. They are literally 
arguing and saying: We don't want them to do what we do every single 
day--what Google does every day, what Facebook does every day. In fact, 
they fight about not wanting internet service providers to filter out 
content when, of late, Facebook seems to put out every week a new 
release about how they are filtering content from places they don't 
like.
  Here is what we really want: a fair, flat playing field for everyone, 
and everyone who wants free speech can have free speech on the 
internet. If you want to start a new business, you can put up a website 
on the internet, and you don't have to worry about somebody filtering 
you out. This is not China--a place where they will filter out and 
decide whether you can put your content out. This is the United States 
of America, and everybody wants their content to be able to go out, to 
be fair, and not to have someone judge it. That is what we want with an 
open internet. By the way, that is what you have if the Federal Trade 
Commission goes back to regulating, as they have for 20 years.
  I ask a simple question: Was the internet open and fair for content 
in 2015? I believe it was. If you check your history books from 3 years 
ago, I think you will find that the internet was

[[Page S2705]]

open in 2015. Facebook was out there. Netflix was out there. YouTube 
was out there. It was open in 2015.
  We are not talking about any set of rules that is different than how 
the internet operated in 2015. But what we don't want to have is two 
different sets of rules where this set of companies--Google and 
Facebook and Netflix--gets to tell a different set of companies, the 
fiber, how to do their business. Neither do we want the fiber companies 
telling the content folks how to run their businesses. Let them 
compete.
  A lot of people say that there are only a few internet service 
providers that are out there. Well, in the United States, there are 
4,500 internet service providers that are out there. Yes, there are 
some big ones, but there are a lot of small ones. If the big ones 
misbehave, guess what happens. Competition will beat them down, and 
those small companies will beat them because the big companies get out 
of line. It is the way America works and the way competition works when 
you keep it fair and open.
  It is a misnomer to talk about net neutrality as if it is not neutral 
right now. There are a lot of fears and a lot of innuendos. There are a 
lot of accusations and what-ifs and maybe they will come out and I am 
afraid the boogeyman is going to come and take the over the internet. 
Really, what is happening is that two giant sets of companies are 
competing and asking the government to jump in the middle and the 
Googles and Facebooks and Netflix are asking this government to put 
restrictions to the internet service providers that they are not 
willing to actually have themselves.
  Why don't we just do this: Let everyone compete and not try to have 
the government in between. Can we have net neutrality where we don't 
have blocking of content, where we have fair trade rules, where we make 
sure everyone gets access to the internet? Yes. We can have that when 
the Federal Trade Commission actually oversees those rules as they have 
for two decades.
  There is a lot of hyperbole in this. I just wish there were more 
facts coming to the table at the same time the hyperbole is coming out.
  The simplest conversation I can have is actually a conversation I had 
with a mayor not long ago. We were talking through the complexity of 
this and about fiber networks and about broadband and capabilities and 
speed and all these things.
  He said: Hold on. I am a mayor. Can we talk about water pipes for a 
minute?
  I said: Sure.
  He said: So what you are telling me is there is lots of water going 
into the water pipe and lots of people who are using that water, and we 
have to find a fair way to be able to get all that water out because 
there is more water trying to get into that pipe than we can actually 
get out on the other end, and it is backing up.
  I said: Yes, sir. That is exactly what I am saying, but it is zeros 
and ones running through a piece of fiber, not water running through a 
pipe.
  He said: I can get that. Let's just keep it fair so that every person 
who wants to get access to it can get access to it and we are not 
discriminating on the water coming through the pipe.
  It is pretty easy. We can do that right now with the Federal Trade 
Commission.
  Tomorrow, I am chairing the hearing in the subcommittee that I lead 
in Appropriations. We will have the Chairman of the FCC and the 
Chairman of the FTC sit down for a 2-hour conversation, and I am sure 
much of it will be on this issue of net neutrality. My encouragement is 
for people to actually listen in to get the facts about net neutrality 
and not the emotion and not what the Googles and Facebooks and NetFlix 
are telling you what to think, because they are competing against the 
other guys. Come and get the real facts. We will lay the facts on the 
table.
  If there is an area that needs to be handled with new regulations, I 
would be glad to engage, but quite frankly, I think the internet needs 
the lightest touch possible. I don't see a reason why the Federal 
Government should get in the business of free speech and tell people 
what they can and can't say. Let's keep the internet open and free and 
fair and not block content, but let's also not try to jump between two 
sets of megacompanies and pick winners and losers at the same time. 
Let's keep it open and stay out of the business of telling businesses 
how to run their businesses.
  Mr. President, I yield back.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, before the Senate today is the question of 
whether we will continue to have free and open access to the internet 
in the United States of America.
  Every day, millions of Americans log on. They rely on the internet to 
help their child with his or her homework assignment, help a father 
video call his mother, who may live three States away, or help a small 
business woman make a sale to a customer halfway across the world.
  Currently, the people who use the internet in the United States and 
others like them are free to enjoy the internet as they wish. When you 
logged on this morning, you had the same access to the internet as 
every other American. There is no fear that some internet provider is 
going to step in and say: Wait a minute. We are going to slow down your 
service until you pay us more money or limit your access to certain 
apps and information based on whether you pay an additional fee. What a 
contrast that is to things like cable television. What package did you 
buy? How many channels are in there? How much access do you have? Are 
you going to pay the bill again next month? That is quite a bit 
different, isn't it, from our access to the internet?
  Currently, users around the country are enjoying free access to an 
open and neutral internet, but that is all about to change. It is about 
to change because this new President and his new head of the Federal 
Communications Commission believe that our access to the internet 
should be for sale. In fact, this administration thinks everything 
ought to be for sale--public lands, our privacy, and in this case, our 
unfettered pathway to information.
  Thanks to the leadership of Ed Markey of Massachusetts and many of my 
colleagues, we come today to discuss this fundamental issue. This is a 
rare day in the Senate. We are actually discussing an issue of 
substance on the floor. I welcome the visitors for this historic 
moment. We are preparing to vote tomorrow on whether the decision of 
the Trump administration's Federal Communications Commission, which 
ends net neutrality, is going to succeed or fail.
  Luckily, we were joined by at least one Republican--I didn't look at 
the final rollcall--to move us forward in this debate. All the 
Democrats and at least one Republican voted for this, and we prevailed. 
Tomorrow, we hope to do the same. We hope it will be done on a 
bipartisan basis as well.
  Follow this debate because my guess is that it is going to impact you 
and your life. If the Trump administration and the Federal 
Communications Commission have their way, they are going to change our 
access to the internet for every single family, every single business, 
every single doctor--the list goes on.
  In December, the FCC voted to put the needs of companies ahead of 
consumers and to undo net neutrality in the United States. This great 
party on the other side of the aisle who talks about freedom--we want 
Americans to have freedom--wants to take away our freedom for access to 
the internet. Why? So somebody can buy parts of it and sell them back 
to us.
  Under their new plan, the FCC would allow companies to freely block 
or slow down any American's access to websites based on the company's 
financial interests and would allow paid prioritization practices which 
create internet fast lanes and slow lanes based on who can afford to 
pay more for the service. What a change that is from what we have 
today.
  Everyone has a favorite website they visit every day. In the morning, 
I race in here and get to the newspapers in Illinois, for example, to 
see what is going on in my home State. Well, what if one

[[Page S2706]]

day you typed in the address of that newspaper and nothing popped up or 
you were able to visit it, but it took twice as long to download it?
  Remember those days when you used to deal with dial-up? Some of the 
young people in the Chamber are probably scratching their head and 
asking: What is dial-up all about? Well, those days did exist, and it 
was a much different world in the internet, which we could return to 
because of that FCC decision. This could be the reality under the Trump 
administration's Federal Communications Commission.
  For internet providers, this means they can discriminate against 
specific content on the internet and be free to do so in the name of 
competition. For consumers, it means less service and higher costs. For 
entrepreneurs and small businesses, there is also a risk.
  I had a meeting this morning with the Illinois Realtors. There were 
about 20 of them gathered in the hallway. I was in a committee hearing.
  They said: The first item on our agenda is net neutrality.
  I said: Realtors and net neutrality? Explain.
  They said: Well, people are now looking for their homes on the 
internet. Perspective purchasers of homes do video tours of all of 
these different homes. We want our customers to have access to the 
internet so they can go shopping for their next home. We think it is 
good for American business.
  So do I--but not the Federal Communications Commission. They 
disagree.
  The internet has given the businesses not only access to customers 
but a global reach and ability to compete with companies large and 
small. Success isn't determined on how rich your business is. It is how 
good your product is. If our country wants to grow its economy and 
continue to lead the world in innovation, we cannot allow the internet 
to become a place where businesses impose a pay-to-play scenario.
  I can't understand how the other party--this party of individualism 
and freedom--wants to take this freedom away from the American people.
  If the FCC's harmful new plan is allowed to take effect, consumers, 
businesses, and hard-working families will be hurt. It is no wonder 
that public support for net neutrality is overwhelming. America gets 
it. The Federal Communications Commission and the President may not, 
but America understands this. All over the country, students, teachers, 
businesses, individuals, and families, are all making their voices 
heard, and I encourage them to continue to do so.
  We need more Republicans to stand up for your freedom. We need more 
Republican Senators to join us in what should be a strong, bipartisan 
effort.
  The Federal Communications Commission has announced that its radical 
plan to end net neutrality will take effect next month--next month--
unless Congress stops it.
  We are starting today with this vote in the Senate. We will finish it 
tomorrow. Then, if we are successful, it goes across the Rotunda to the 
House. If they do nothing, your right to the internet is going to be 
destroyed.
  Today every Senator will have a chance to tell their constituents 
exactly where they stood on this issue of personal freedom--whether 
content on the internet should be treated equally and consumer access 
be a matter of how much you can pay. I think the answer is obvious, and 
so do the overwhelming majority of Americans.
  Will the Republican Party please join us in a bipartisan effort to 
stand up for something that Americans across the board support?
  I urge my colleagues to support the concept of net neutrality and the 
CRA resolution before the Senate.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, last year, in 2017, we watched a series 
of battles related to the very fundamental vision of our Constitution--
whether we are going to do the people's work or whether we are going to 
be a Senate run by the most powerful and privileged in America. There 
is no question how that came out. It was the powerful and the 
privileged.
  Three major things happened in 2017. The first was a health bill 
designed to destroy healthcare for some 30 million Americans, thereby 
also affecting everybody else by raising the costs of healthcare and 
putting our rural healthcare clinics and our rural hospitals out of 
business. That was a bill for the powerful and the privileged and 
against the people.
  Then we had the tax bill--a bill that borrows $1.5 trillion from the 
next generation. Our pages on the floor here are the next generation. 
We gave the bill to them and then gave the proceeds to the very richest 
of Americans, increasing and accelerating inequality in wages and 
inequality in wealth. That is legislation by and for the powerful--not 
we the people.
  Then we saw the theft of a Supreme Court seat, done directly to 
maintain a court case called Citizens United, which allows the 
wealthiest Americans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to drown 
out the voices of the people here in our democratic republic. That is 
government by and for the powerful and the privileged instead of we the 
people.
  Wouldn't it be amazing if this Chamber actually believed in this 
Constitution--this vision of distributing power among the voting 
citizens--so we have, as Jefferson said, laws that reflect the will of 
the people?
  Here we are today with another issue that is a battle between the 
vision of our Constitution and government by and for the powerful. It 
is called net neutrality
  What is net neutrality? It is making the internet a place where we 
can all participate on an equal foundation, with the freedom to have a 
full right to participate in the information world of today and 
tomorrow and a full opportunity to participate on a level playing field 
in the economic battleground of today and tomorrow. Freedom is what net 
neutrality is about.
  This is what the Federal Communications Commission wants: It wants to 
have a fast lane for the rich and the powerful, and it wants to have a 
slow lane, where you are hardly moving at all, for all the rest of us--
all of working America, stuck here in a congested internet while they 
sell off the fast lane to the wealthiest. That is what this is about.
  The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, proceeded in its 
decision to take away equality on the internet, to ignore the technical 
experts, to produce studies that are debunked by the experts, and to 
conduct a fraudulent public comment period where bots, or robotized 
comments, were filing fake comments by the millions. They didn't even 
want America to be able to weigh in legitimately.
  We said: Redo the comment period and put up an interface to stop the 
bots so real people can weigh in. You could have real input from real 
Americans. That is ``we the people'' government. The FCC said: No way, 
because we are bent on our track.
  What was their track? To allow discrimination on the internet by the 
type of user, to allow discrimination on the internet based on the type 
of business or the type of social content, to allow discrimination on 
the internet by the type of website, to allow discrimination by the 
type of platform or by using an iPhone or a desktop, to allow 
discrimination based on the software application--is it Safari or is it 
Google?
  Why is that? Because the internet service providers can sell, through 
that license to discriminate, a fast lane to the rich and powerful 
while the rest of us are stuck in traffic.
  It is totally unfair. People in America get it. They understand that 
this is the opposite of what it means to have a government that 
reflects the will of the people.
  If we go back to our Founders, James Madison said: ``The advancement 
and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.'' 
``The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the guardian of true 
liberty.'' But today a sizable share of the Members of the Senate want 
to shut down advancement and diffusion of knowledge on a level playing 
field and sell our right to equality to the highest bidder.
  They want to put the modern user--the student, the child, the math 
teacher, the entrepreneur, the small business--they want to lock them 
in chains and say: We are taking away your freedom to participate in 
the public square on an equal basis. That is simply wrong. We know it 
is wrong because millions of Americans have weighed in.

[[Page S2707]]

  On some days in my office, I have had phone calls that are 100 to 1--
1 or 2 or 3 people arguing: Sure, let the powerful sell off our 
freedom. But for every 1 of those folks, there are 100 citizens saying: 
No way, fight for fairness. Fight for equality. Fight for our freedom 
to participate on a level playing field.
  We hear it from all kinds of small businesses. More than 6,000 have 
formally weighed in. We hear it from all kinds of organizations. I hear 
it from the Realtors. I hear it from the restaurant owners. Everyone 
who isn't one of the superelite in America wants equal participation 
and freedom on the internet, but there is a whole host of colleagues 
today who are considering voting for the elite and rich and powerful 
over their constituents.
  I encourage you to rethink your priorities because we have a 
responsibility, under our Constitution, to do government by and for the 
people, not the powerful.
  We have heard from chiropractors. We have heard from people who 
perform at music venues. We have heard from graphic design artists. We 
have heard from medical startups. We have heard from everyone across 
the spectrum saying: Give me a fair chance to compete.
  A fair chance to compete is an American value. Let us not trounce 
that value into the mud today.
  I anticipate that at 3 p.m. we are going to have a vote on this 
floor, and the majority of this Senate--a slim majority--is going to 
fight for freedom, and the rest are going to say: No way, I am not 
fighting for freedom. I am fighting for the big and powerful people in 
America.
  That is just wrong.
  Then this bill will go to the House. When it goes to the House, there 
will be another battle. So having won here by a slim margin--a slim, 
bipartisan margin--we have to win in the House, which means that we 
need the American people to weigh in.
  Here is the thing. The rich and powerful really want to win the 
fight. Oh, they are going to be spending a lot of money to win this 
fight. They are going to be sending a lot of lobbyists down the hall to 
win this fight. So we have to have the people of America weigh in and 
let them know across the hall, down the hall, down this road to the 
House that as the people's House, they should do the people's business.
  Let's set the example here in the Senate. Let's not have a slim 
majority fight for freedom for Americans. Let's have the entire body 
weigh in with a robust, extensive majority, fighting--fighting--for 
freedom on the internet. Let's win this battle today, and let's win it 
in a few days down the hall.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


                       Nomination of Gina Haspel

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, yesterday President Trump joined 
Republican Senators for lunch. He was very optimistic and very positive 
about a lot of the developments in America's foreign policy in places 
like North Korea. At the same time, we all recognize that the world 
continues to be a very dangerous place. National security must be our 
first responsibility. My goal is a nation that is safe, strong, and 
secure.
  To have safety and security at home, we need peace and stability 
abroad. Republicans in Congress understand that. So does President 
Trump, and so does Gina Haspel. That is why the Senate Select Committee 
on Intelligence today approved Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the 
Central Intelligence Agency. It was a bipartisan vote.
  That used to be the normal way things operated around here--in a 
bipartisan way. When you had a nominee who was undeniably qualified, 
they got support from both sides of the aisle. It has become very 
uncommon over the past year.
  Democrats have decided to obstruct President Trump's nominees for 
important jobs almost at any cost, but Gina Haspel got this rare 
bipartisan approval from the committee for the right reason--because 
she is the right person for this job. Now we will have a vote on the 
Senate floor.
  This should be one of the easiest votes for Members of the Senate to 
cast all year. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a 
very important member of the President Trump's national security team. 
She is the right person for the job.
  She has been a career intelligence officer for 33 years. That goes 
back to the days of the Ronald Reagan administration. She actually got 
interested in the CIA when she learned that women could serve there 
doing clandestine work all around the world.
  She has served in Africa, Russia, Central Europe, and Asia. She has 
held top jobs at the Agency's headquarters. She understands every 
element of the work of America's intelligence community.
  Since she is actually the acting head of the Agency today, I think 
anyone would be hard-pressed to say she is not up to the job, because 
she is doing the job. She has the faith and the trust of the men and 
women in the field who keep us safe every day.
  Let's not forget that she has also worked very closely with Mike 
Pompeo. He was head of the CIA. Now he is Secretary of State. Having 
two people in these important jobs who already have a solid, respectful 
working relationship is extremely important for making sure that the 
U.S. foreign policy is airtight.
  No one else that the President could have nominated would have been 
able to work as closely with Secretary of State Pompeo. She is an 
expert on terrorism. She is an intelligence expert. She is a national 
security expert.
  She began her work at the CIA during the Cold War. So she has a deep 
understanding of Russia and a deep understanding of our challenges 
there.
  I think it is clear that Gina Haspel is an absolute star nominee for 
this vitally important job. I am not the only one saying so. The list 
of people who have come out and endorsed her nomination goes on and on. 
At least six former leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency have all 
come out publicly to praise her qualifications and her abilities. CIA 
Directors under President Obama, under President Bush, under President 
Clinton--Republicans and Democrats alike--all agree she is the right 
person for this job.
  Look at what they have had to say. Michael Hayden was Director under 
President Bush. He wrote: ``Gina Haspel is the person America needs at 
the CIA.'' He said: ``She is someone you want in the room when big 
decisions are being made.''
  Listen to what Leon Panetta, who had the job under President Obama, 
said. He said that he was glad she would be the first woman to head the 
Agency because ``frankly she is someone who really knows the CIA inside 
out.''
  Look at John Brennan, who also ran the Agency for President Obama. He 
said in an interview that she has the experience, the breadth, and the 
depth--on intelligence issues and foreign policy issues over many, many 
years.
  It is clear this is someone who is very highly regarded by people who 
know her, people who have worked with her, and people who have relied 
on her judgment and her expertise. That expertise and that clear-eyed 
judgment is more important today than perhaps at any other time since 
the end of the Cold War.
  Our Nation's adversaries are cunning, they are opportunistic, and 
they are aggressive. We face challenges in dealing with Syria and in 
dealing with ISIS. We have a lot of work ahead of us in Iran.
  Next month, President Trump will be meeting with North Korea to try 
to end their nuclear program. Now, I remain skeptical about North 
Korea, and so do a lot of Republicans in the Senate, but this is the 
best opportunity we have ever had to try to get nuclear weapons out of 
North Korea. The President needs his full team in place.
  This isn't a simple political game for Democrats to play for the TV 
cameras. This is about the peace and security of the world and safety 
and strength for the United States.
  As a CIA officer for more than 30 years, Gina Haspel has had to make 
tough decisions to keep our country safe. The decision we face to 
confirm her nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence 
Agency is not a tough decision at all. I will vote loudly and clearly 
in support of her nomination.
  When she is confirmed, all Americans will be able to sleep soundly, 
knowing she is on the job providing the security we all need.
  Thank you.

[[Page S2708]]

  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, I thank the Presiding Officer, and I thank 
all of my colleagues here today. This has been a very important debate 
to have on the floor of the U.S. Senate. It is a debate over whether we 
are going to continue to have a free and open internet. This vote is a 
test of the U.S. Senate, and the American people are watching very 
closely.
  This vote is about small businesses, librarians, schoolteachers, 
innovators, social advocates, YouTubers, college students, and millions 
of other Americans who have spoken with one voice to say: Access to the 
internet is our right, and we will not sit idly by while this 
administration stomps on that right.
  This vote is our moment to show our constituents that the U.S. Senate 
can break through the partisanship and break past the powerful outside 
influences to do the right thing--the right thing for our economy, the 
right thing for our democracy, the right thing for our consumers, and 
the right thing for our future.
  This is common sense to Americans around the country, with the only 
exception being telecom lobbyists and lawyers inside the beltway. How 
do I know? Because 86 percent of all Americans in polling agree that 
net neutrality should stay on the books as the law of the United 
States.
  The public is telling us loudly and clearly to vote for this 
resolution. They are telling us they don't trust their internet service 
provider to show up on time for a customer service appointment at their 
house, so they certainly don't trust them to put consumers ahead of 
profits.
  They are telling us that once they pay their internet bill, they 
expect fair access to the internet. They are telling us they are sick 
of the special interests getting their way while the rest of us get the 
short end of the stick.
  So I ask each and every one of my colleagues today to heed the calls 
of the American people to keep the internet open, to keep the principle 
of nondiscrimination at the heart of what the internet has been and 
must continue to be, not just for the most powerful voices but for 
those who have the smallest voices inside of our society. That includes 
entrepreneurs who just last year received half of all venture capital 
in the United States which went to software and internet startups. That 
is what we need. We need to understand how this incredibly chaotic 
entrepreneurial system in our country works, and at the heart of it is 
net neutrality.
  Just 2 weeks ago, in Massachusetts, I had a meeting with 500 people 
on net neutrality. I invited Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the 
worldwide web.
  Tim Berners-Lee was selected by Time magazine as one of the 20 
greatest thinkers, scientists, and innovators of the 20th century. Who 
else was on the list with him? Sigmund Freud, Edison, Henry Ford.
  Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the worldwide web, the organizing 
principle of the web. What he said is, the principles of 
nondiscrimination are baked into the internet. It was his intent to 
have it work that way so there could be no discrimination. What we are 
talking about is a fundamental change. The largest companies now want 
to implement fundamental change in order for them to ensure that 
competitors cannot compete as well as they could if they could not be 
discriminated against--that consumers have the protections they need so 
they are not harmed, and so this innovation economy can continue to 
unleash itself for the benefit of the United States, so we are, No. 1, 
looking over our shoulders at Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in the world.
  The internet and its success is a story about the United States being 
No. 1, not any individual company, and certainly not a small handful of 
broadband companies. That is why the rest of the world envies what we 
have in our country, this incredible engine of innovation which has 
created millions of new jobs since the 1996 Telecommunications Act was 
passed, since this digital revolution was unleashed. We must keep these 
principles intact.
  That is what we are debating here today on the floor of the United 
States Senate. We are debating what the principles should be for this 
organizing principle of our country for the 21st century, which is the 
internet. From my perspective, the only way in which every American, 
every entrepreneur, every new idea is going to have a shot at helping 
to make our country better is if net neutrality stays on the books.
  So this is a defining vote, the most important vote that we are going 
to have in this generation, on the internet. The whole country is 
watching. Eighty-six percent of all voters support net neutrality, 82 
percent of all Republicans support net neutrality. If it is not broke, 
don't fix it. It is working, and it works for the smallest voices and 
for the largest voices. What these huge internet companies, the 
internet service providers, want to do is change the rules, tilt the 
playing field.
  It was a long route to get to this era. We had one telephone company, 
one cable company, monopolies going into people's homes. It took a lot 
to get away from that era so that smaller voices, newer voices could be 
heard. When that happened, it unleashed trillions of dollars of 
private-sector investment the software and internet companies, these 
innovators, were now able to gain access to. They could have done it if 
the rules made it possible before we changed the laws in the 1990s. But 
since then, they have--and they have reinvented, not just the United 
States of America, but they have reinvented the whole world. There is a 
vocabulary which has been created since 1996, words that now everyone 
thinks are common: Google, Amazon, E-Bay, Hulu, You Tube. They didn't 
exist. They didn't have a role in our society. We had to change the 
rules in order to make it possible for them. There is a whole new 
generations of companies whose names we do not know yet, but because of 
net neutrality they will be known. They will be the job creators for 
the next several decades in our country.
  So I thank all Members who participated in this debate. There won't 
be a more important one that we have, because it goes right to the 
heart of our identity as a free and open society. I urge my fellow 
Senators to vote yes on my Congressional Review Act resolution to 
restore the net neutrality rules to the books.
  Mr. President, I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Toomey). The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, we are about to vote on this Congressional 
Review Act resolution of disapproval dealing with this issue of net 
neutrality.
  Let me say again what I said at the beginning of this discussion 
earlier today; that is, I support principles of net neutrality that can 
be enshrined in law, that actually do address the issues people on the 
other side are concerned about, whether that is a ban on blocking of 
lawful content, a ban on throttling of internet speeds, a ban on paid 
prioritization that would create fast lanes, slow lanes, and that sort 
of thing. Those are things on which I think there is pretty broad 
agreement.
  Frankly, it seems to me, at least, there is bipartisan support for 
pursuing a legislative solution to this--to put into law, to codify 
once and for all those principles of an open internet. Instead, we are 
having this fake argument over a Congressional Review Act resolution of 
disapproval, which is going nowhere, and my colleagues on the other 
side know that. All it does is prolong the period of uncertainty in 
which we have been operating for some time, where internet service 
providers are not investing in new technologies, innovation, and 
infrastructure and instead are investing in lawyers and litigation as 
this cloud of uncertainty hangs over the regulation of the internet.
  What our colleagues on the other side are proposing is simply this: 
Regulate the internet like a public utility in the same way that Ma 
Bell was regulated back in the 1930s, because the law they would use to 
regulate the internet is title II of the 1934 Communications Act--
basically saying: We want to take

[[Page S2709]]

a law that is 80 years old and use it to regulate a 21st-century 
innovation like the internet--the internet that exploded under the 
light-touch regime that was in place up until 2015.
  In 2015, the FCC decided they wanted to use the heavy hand of 
government regulation as opposed to a light touch. What this FCC has 
said, simply, is that we are going to go back to the light-touch 
regulation that was in place for the first two decades of its 
existence, two decades that led to explosive growth, dramatic increases 
in productivity, and economic opportunity for Americans all over the 
country. Here we are today talking about a Congressional Review Act 
resolution of disapproval that would roll back that FCC's decision in 
an attempt to restore and put back in place the heavyhanded regulation 
of title II under the 1934 Communications Act.
  I think, frankly, that we can solve this issue quite simply; that is, 
to sit down in a bipartisan way and figure out a way to enshrine into 
law those principles of an open internet that would ban the things I 
just talked about--ban blocking, ban throttling, ban pay 
prioritization, but do it in a way that does not draw on the title II 
authority that essentially gives the FCC the authority, if they want 
to, to regulate rates.
  This is a heavyhanded government approach to regulating the most 
powerful economic engine we have seen literally in generations. I think 
the clear vote here today is in favor of legislation that would put 
those rules into effect and against a Congressional Review Act 
resolution of disapproval, which is simply an attempt to, I guess, gain 
partisan advantage with an issue that people seem to think will be 
useful in the upcoming elections.
  Honestly, it is not going anywhere. We all know that. I think the 
sooner we conclude that and the sooner we get serious about sitting 
down together across from each other and actually putting into law 
these principles of an open internet, the better off we will all be. I 
mentioned this earlier today. There are a number of our colleagues who 
have made statements publicly, as recently as yesterday at a Commerce 
Subcommittee hearing, where they supported that approach of bipartisan 
legislation. I had colleagues on the other side who have made public 
statements--and I quoted some of them today--in support of a 
legislative solution along the lines of what I am proposing here. Of 
course, we have had multiple examples of misstatements and hyped-up 
statements that aren't grounded in any sense of reality, so much so 
that even a Washington Post Fact Checker came out and said that the 
statements that were being made by the Democrats warranted three 
Pinocchios. The L.A. Times just this last week editorialized: ``Rather 
than jousting over a resolution of disapproval, Congress needs to put 
this issue to bed once and for all by crafting a bipartisan deal giving 
the commission limited but clear authority to regulate broadband 
providers and preserve net neutrality.''
  That is the way to do this. It is not to have an FCC that bounces 
back and forth from administration to administration at the whim of 
whatever the political wins of the day are or, perhaps even worse yet, 
spends a lot of time in court litigating this issue--millions and 
millions of dollars that could be spent investing in innovation and new 
technology and new infrastructure that could deliver higher, faster 
speeds, higher quality of services to people across this country, 
including those in rural areas who have missed out on a lot of this. 
You are not going to get broadband providers to deliver services or 
invest in rural areas if they are operating under a cloud of 
uncertainty, which is what this CRA, if it were successful, would 
ultimately lead to.
  I simply ask our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject this 
ill-fated, frankly, charade of an exercise that we are going through in 
exchange for a true discussion of bipartisan legislation. I mentioned 
earlier that I had a draft from 2015 that we put together. I have had 
numerous opportunities to discuss that draft with Members on the other 
side. We have socialized some of these issues. We shopped them around. 
It certainly is not the end-all product, but that is what legislation 
is about. It is about the opportunity to sit down, take input from both 
sides, and come up with a bipartisan solution. I think that is 
certainly within our reach here if we are willing to do it, but this is 
not the way to do it.
  This is a dead-end canyon, which does nothing to solve the issue. All 
it does is perhaps whip up some people who are perhaps interested in 
trying to use this as a political wedge issue, but it is not going to 
do anything to solve the problem. I urge my colleagues to reject and 
vote no on this resolution of disapproval, and let's get serious about 
legislating.
  I yield back the remainder of our time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has been yielded back.
  The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading 
and was read the third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution having been read the 
third time, the question is, Shall the joint resolution pass?
  Mr. MARKEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 47, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 97 Leg.]

                                YEAS--52

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Jones
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--47

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     McCain
       
  The joint resolution (S.J. Res. 52) was passed, as follows:

                              S.J. Res. 52

       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress 
     disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications 
     Commission relating to ``Restoring Internet Freedom'' (83 
     Fed. Reg. 7852 (February 22, 2018)), and such rule shall have 
     no force or effect.

                          ____________________