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Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Support Bid to Restore Net Neutrality

Published on .

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, drinks from an oversized coffee mug during an open meeting in Washington, D.C.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, drinks from an oversized coffee mug during an open meeting in Washington, D.C. Credit: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube on Wednesday told lawmakers that they support a legislative effort to restore net neutrality rules wiped out by the Federal Communications Commission last month.

Executives appearing before the Senate Commerce Committee replied to Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, who asked their position on his resolution to nullify the FCC's action.

"Yes, sir, thank you for your leadership on this issue," replied Carlos Monje, a director for Twitter. YouTube's Juniper Downs, global head of public policy and government relations, said the platform "will support any effort" to put back in place the rules gutted by the FCC. Facebook's Monika Bickert, head of global policy management, said she had the "same answer: We will support the CRA," shorthand for the measure proposed by Markey that would use the Congressional Review Act.

Markey's measure is backed by all 49 senators who organize with the Democrats and one Republican, meaning it needs just one vote to assure Senate passage. He can't introduce it until the new FCC rule, passed by agency Republicans without Democratic support, becomes official with publication in the Federal Register.

The odds are long that the measure would get though the Republican-majority House or avoid an almost certain veto by President Donald Trump, who backed the FCC's move. But Democrats see political value in forcing the showdown.

In the meantime a legal battle has erupted, with 22 Democratic attorneys general asking a federal appeals court to reverse the FCC. California and New York are part of the effort.

-- Bloomberg News

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