In a non-partisan vote Thursday, the United States Senate passed Joint Resolution 34. The bill, introduced earlier in the month by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), was aimed at undoing FCC regulations passed at the end of President Obama's term.
Sen. Flake's bill was also sponsored by Senator's John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, who both voted yes on the bill.
Essentially, the vote is the first step in undoing an FCC rule put into place in November. The regulations would have required Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to notify consumers when their personal information was accessible and notify them before accessing it.
Thursday's Senate vote on the resolution will send the bill to the US House of Representatives and, if passed there, will go on to President Trump's desk.
Both Senator Cruz and Cornyn sent written statements to requests for comment.
Senator Cruz's office sent the following statement:
"The rule that was overturned today passed the FCC by a 3-2 vote ten days before the November elections despite strenuous objections from throughout the Internet community. It was a clear-cut case of federal government overreach that harms consumers. Sen. Cruz cosponsored this resolution, and was grateful to see it passed by the Senate because the FCC’s proposed “privacy” rules would have severely restricted small businesses, disadvantaged low-income consumers, encouraged disparate treatment of Internet Service Providers and effectively chilled free speech. Today’s vote restores the privacy protections that consumers enjoyed prior to October 2016."
Senator Cornyn's office sent a transcription of the comments the Senator gave on the Senate floor:
" For the last several weeks this chamber has worked very hard to undo harmful rules and regulations that were put forward by the Obama Administration at the last moment as he was headed out of the door. These are rules that hurt job creators and stifled economic growth. The F.C.C. Privacy rules are just another example of burdensome rules that hurt more than they help, and serve as another example of the government picking winners and losers. They unnecessarily target internet service providers and ultimately make our internet ecosystem less efficient by adding more red tape. The bottom line is the F.C.C. Privacy rules are bad regulations that need to be repealed. I should note that this congressional review action vote will not change the entire online privacy protections consumers currently enjoy and it does not change statutory privacy protections under the Communications Act.”