Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

The FCC commissioner is getting a very special tribute.

Today, the Senate—using the Congressional Review Act (CRA)—voted to overturn the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s decision to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality is a founding principle of the internet, which states that all internet traffic should be treated equal. The 2015 Open Internet Order codified those regulations, but a Republican-led FCC did away with the rules back in December.

This afternoon, by a 52-47 margin, the Senate voted to rescind the FCC’s order.

While the CRA faces an uphill fight in the House, senators praised the action as the first major step forward for net neutrality.

In a statement, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) said today’s vote reflected the will of the American public.

“The American public understands how important these protections are to their lives and the future of the internet,” Nelson said. “They do not want to have their websites blocked or internet accessed slowed.  And, they certainly don’t want their internet providers making those decisions.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), in advance of the vote, tweeted that the Senate was hearing overwhelming feedback in favor of the CRA.

A number of net neutrality activists organized a “Red Alert” protest in the lead-up to the vote, with major websites directing their users to contact their congresspeople.

Sarah Morris, director of open internet policy at New America’s Open Technology Institute, who helped organize the protest, said the American people were heard today.

“In the months since the FCC voted to repeal the net neutrality rules, the American people have raised their voices to tell their representatives in Congress to save those online protections, and have sent over 16 million emails and over 1 million calls to Congress,” Morris said. “As this measure heads to the House, it would be prudent for members to take note of this sustained outcry and vote to preserve net neutrality.”

Representatives already began lobbying for the effort in the House, which is currently lacking the necessary votes to pass.

And, of course, people took a moment to pay tribute to the man whose efforts kicked off the fight, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

The House has until the end of their session in January to vote on the CRA. If passed, the CRA would still need to be signed by President Donald Trump.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).