Government Relations Update May 2018
Net Neutrality CRA Legislation Passes Senate
This month, the Senate narrowly approved S.J.Res.52 by a vote of 52-47. The resolution aims to reverse the FCC’s recent Restoring Internet Freedom rule, which rescinds the 2015 net neutrality rules put in place under former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can review and overrule newly imposed federal regulations within 60 legislative days of their enactment through the passage of joint resolutions such as this. The focus now shifts to the House where a simple majority of 218 votes is required to pass a similar resolution. Ultimately, any such legislation would have to head to the President’s desk and be signed into law to take effect.
Farm Bill Stalled in House
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), was defeated in the House by a vote of 198-213. The bill was stopped due to opposition from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who desired a floor vote on immigration legislation supported by the group. The bill contained $600 million for rural broadband as well as a number of other broadband provisions. Speaker Ryan began the process to get the bill back on track soon after its defeat, seeking to arrange another vote on this important legislative package; however, it is unclear when such a vote will occur.