Washington -- The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday rejected a network neutrality amendment, handing cable and phone broadband access providers yet another victory over a coalition that has demanded the application of strict nondiscrimination standards against entities that control access to millions of Internet users.
The panel voted 11 to 11 to defeat an amendment sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who had backing from Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft and other firms that deliver voice, video, and information services and applications.
Under Senate rules, a tie vote means the amendment failed.
Snowe said the amendment was necessary to protect Internet innovation and investment that she said are threatened by anti-competitive designs by cable and phone companies.
Though I haven't confirmed it yet, that probably means we kept all ten Democrats, and had Snowe's vote.
The future for the telecommunications bill is unclear, as Stevens has said he doesn't have a 60 vote margin to pass the bill and thus might not get leadership support to bring it to the floor. Sen. Wyden has vowed to put a hold on any anti-net neutrality legislation.
So while this is a discouraging impasse, we don't know how it plays out from here. The fact that Stevens says he doesn't have a filibuster proof majority means that our voices have been heard. That much is clear.
Update [2006-6-28 17:31:1 by mcjoan]: Matt has more at MyDD, confirming that we kept all 10 Democrats. Contact numbers for all of the Committee members are below the fold. Use them to applaud and chastise, as appropriate. And keep the pressure up on your Senators, because this could still go to a floor fight.
Update II by kos: Three names stand out in the list of those who voted against Net Neutrality -- Conrad Burns, John Ensign, and George Allen. These are all guys we can get rid off this November, getting us closer to a Senate that will protect a free and open internet.
Also, isn't it amazing the bedfellows Mike McCurry has made? And to think he was once worthy of respect...
You can contact the members of the Senate Commerce Committee via the main switchboard toll free at 1-888-355-3588. Or you can contact them individually at the following phone and fax numbers:
- Chairman Ted Stevens (AK): (202) 224-3004; (202) 224-2354 FAX
- John McCain (AZ): (202) 224-2235; Fax: (202) 228-2862
- Conrad Burns (MT): 202-224-2644; Fax: 202-224-8594
- Trent Lott (MS): (202) 224-6253; Fax: (202) 224-2262
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): 202-224-5922; 202-224-0776 (FAX)
- Olympia J. Snowe (ME): (202) 224-5344; FAX (202) 224-1946
- Gordon H. Smith (OR): 202.224.3753; Fax: 202.228.3997
- John Ensign (NV): (202) 224-6244; Fax: (202) 228-2193
- George Allen (VA): (202) 224-4024; Fax: (202) 224-5432
- John E. Sununu (NH): (202) 224-2841; FAX (202) 228-4131
- Jim DeMint (SC): 202-224-6121; Fax: 202-228-5143
- David Vitter (LA): (202) 224-4623; Fax: (202) 228-5061
- Co-Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI): 202-224-3934; Fax: 202-224-6747
- John D. Rockefeller (WV): (202) 224-6472; (202) 224-7665 Fax
- John F. Kerry (MA): (202) 224-2742 - Phone; (202) 224-8525 - Fax
- Byron L. Dorgan (ND): 202-224-2551; Fax: 202-224-1193
- Barbara Boxer (CA): 202-224-3553
- Bill Nelson (FL): 202-224-5274; Fax: 202-228-2183
- Maria Cantwell (WA): 202-224-3441; 202-228-0514 - FAX
- Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ): (202) 224-3224; Fax: (202) 228-4054
- E. Benjamin Nelson (NE): Tel: (202) 224-6551; Fax: (202) 228-0012
- Mark Pryor (AR): (202) 224-2353; Fax: (202) 228-0908