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Why tomorrow's election won't change net neutrality debate

I know that many advocates of meaningful Congressional action on net neutrality are hopeful that tomorrow's elections will result in a shift of power to a Democratic party that generally seems to be more sympathetic to pro-net neutrality arguments than the Republicans are.There's two reasons why tomorrow's results are not going to shift things.
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Written by Russell Shaw on
I know that many advocates of meaningful Congressional action on net neutrality are hopeful that tomorrow's elections will result in a shift of power to a Democratic party that generally seems to be more sympathetic to pro-net neutrality arguments than the Republicans are.

There's two reasons why tomorrow's results are not going to shift things.

First, althought the House will probably change hands, the Senate won't. That's my read on things at present. I see Ohio and Pennsylvania Senate seats changing parties, and maybe Rhode Island, but I detect GOP voters in Montana, Virginia and Missouri coming back around. Tennessee is no longer a realistic possibility of a swtich. My assessment is that a Democrat sweep of all six states is vanishly small. 

And Mr. Cheney breaks 50-50 ties.

The House will likely go marginally Democrat- and committee chairs will change as a result. So the pro net-neutrality forces will make some noise, but not enough. Not every Democrat fully supports net neutrality, and not every Republican is adamantly opposed. The consensus math is shaky.

Even if some net neutrality legislation passes the House, its future in a Senate still likely to be controlled by anti net neutrality chairs is only a bit less than bleak.

Should relevant legislation get through both Houses by some miracle, then it would go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. An ardent friend of business and foe of regulation (unless it involves "national security" or very personal matters) would be sure to veto.

Oh, and need I remind you about the FCC's make-up: 3R, 2D? That will hold for at least the next two years- a geological epoch of time in Internet and telecommunications policy scale. 

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