Voting to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s Obama-era broadband privacy rules, the GOP succeeded where their healthcare bill failed.
The GOP’s next target will most probably be the Obama administration’s technology legacy: net neutrality rules that essentially require internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally, a policy championed by Silicon Valley.
Even in a Capitol often dominated by fights over defense or health care, the GOP’s technology offensive has handed a potential political weapon to Democrats and consumer groups, who are eager to use it. Democrats followed Tuesday’s privacy vote by launching broadsides against GOP Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada, supporters of the privacy repeal who face reelection in 2018 — denouncing the GOP work as “creepy” and “indefensible.”
“Voters across party lines understand the importance of personal privacy and are not going to be happy as they find out that Republican senators and Senate candidates used a party-line vote to put data including health and financial information for sale to the highest bidder,” said Ben Ray, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.