The fight to restore net neutrality is heating up in the wake of the midterm elections.
Every Democrat in the House of Representatives who supports reversing the Trump administration’s decision to repeal popular net neutrality rules has held on to their seat. House Democrats also secured a majority in the lower chamber, setting the stage for a potential showdown between Congress, the White House and the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over how the government should regulate powerful internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Cox and Comcast.
Democratic state attorneys general, who have been united in challenging the Trump administration’s effort to end net neutrality in federal court, now hold a majority of state seats nationwide. Democrats flipped four attorney general seats in the midterms, including in Colorado, where longtime net neutrality proponent Democrat Phil Weiser defeated Republican George Brauchler after campaigning on the issue.
Then there is Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a regular thorn in the side of progressive tech policy groups, who is jumping from House of Representatives to the Senate after defeating Democrat Phil Bredesden in a bitter battle over retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker’s seat. Blackburn was the top recipient of telecom campaign funding in the House, and AT&T was a top contributor to her latest campaign.
Blackburn has a history of siding with the industry at the expense of consumers. In December 2017, she introduced net neutrality legislation in the House that digital rights advocates say is a giveaway to AT&T and other big ISPs. With the GOP maintaining control of the Senate, Blackburn may be in a position to push her industry-friendly proposals in the next Congress, particularly if she lands on the right committee.
Net neutrality is the principle that ISPs should not block…