A proposed Senate bill that would restore net neutrality protections just received 10 more co-sponsors in less than 24 hours, bringing total supporters to 40.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) became the 30th Democratic senator to declare support for the bill, the number needed to force a floor vote on the legislation.
While most experts don’t expect Democrats to successfully flip two Republican senators in order to pass the bill, Democrats are hoping to put Republicans in an uncomfortable political position that could have drastic consequences for the 2018 midterm elections. Republican candidates have seen electoral upsets and bitter challenges against their Democratic rivals in even the most solid-red states since President Trump took office. Requiring senators to individually vote against the overwhelmingly popular net neutrality rules
could come back to bite them in the upcoming elections.
“Every member of the U.S. Senate will have to go on the record, during a tight election year, and either vote to save the Internet or rubber stamp its death warrant,” Evan Greer, an activist with net neutrality group Fight for the Future, said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear that the Democrats will emphasize the role of Republicans in destroying net neutrality. “Millennials were born into a world with a free and open internet,” Schumer said. “It’s as integral to their daily lives as a morning cup of coffee. So when the administration rips it from their hands and hands it over to the big ISPs on a silver platter, millennials will know that Republicans were responsible — you can bet Democrats are going to make sure of that.”