- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 17, 2018

House Democrats announced a petition drive Thursday to try to force a vote on restoring the “net neutrality” policy, hoping to give Americans a target for their ire over the Trump administration’s efforts to cancel the policy.

Led by Rep. Mike Doyle, Pennsylvania Democrat, the “discharge petition” needs to get signatures from a majority of House members in order to force a bill to the floor.

The move follows a successful vote in the Senate a day earlier, when Democrats, joined by a few Republicans, voted to overturn the administration’s neutrality rollback and restore Obama-era rules.

Senate Democrats used a special regulation-review process to demand a vote over the objections of Republican leaders in that chamber.

But there’s no similar special speedy process in the House to overcome the GOP majority, which sets the floor agenda, so Democrats must use the petition drive strategy.

Net neutrality would prevent internet companies from limiting access to certain websites or other types of online traffic based on their content.

Under President Obama, the Federal Communications Commission imposed the policy. The FCC under President Trump revoked it. Under the Congressional Review Act, lawmakers have a limited period of time to try to overturn that move and restore the Obama policy.

Success is unlikely.

Not only is a House vote unlikely, but even if the bill does clear, it would be met with a presidential veto — and the Senate’s 52-47 vote this week suggests they are nowhere close to the two-thirds needed.

Still, net neutrality has an extremely vocal group of online supporters, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she expects they’ll take aim at Republicans.

“They’re going to hear overwhelmingly from their constituents,” she predicted.

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