As he promised, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) has filed a discharge petition, which would force a vote on the House resolution to restore net neutrality rules if 218 votes, which will require a couple dozen Republican ones, could be secured to support it.
There are currently Republicans 235 Republicans and 193 Democrats in the House, with seven vacancies.
The Senate CRA passed Wednesday with all 46 Democrats, the two independents who caucus with them, and three moderate Republicans.
“With the Speaker opposed to net neutrality, the only way to bring it before the full House for a vote is through a discharge petition,” said Doyle. “Under the rules of the House, my bill to save net neutrality must be brought to the House Floor for a vote if a majority of Representatives sign this discharge petition.”
Republicans counter that they, too, support net neutrality, but not under a Title II regime.
Doyle, who has been motormanning the House CRA, is unlikely to get enough Republicans on the petition, both because most supported the FCC move to deregulate and because if the Democrats forced a vote in the House, they could call out the Republicans not supporting the CRA at election time to try to win back seats, something no Republican wants to abet.
Republicans continue to try to get Democrats to drop the CRA and work on bipartisan net neutrality legislation, but Democrats counter that is a stall tactic and the bills they have offered up would impermissibly narrow the FCC broadband regulatory authority, a price they are not willing to pay to restore bright-line rules against blocking, throttling or even paid prioritization, says one highly placed Democratic Hill staffer.