WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to nullify a December decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal the net neutrality rule.

The independent agency voted 3-2 to strike down the Obama-era policy that prevents companies from restricting access to services and websites. The chamber voted 52-47 in favor of reversing the decision.

All independent and Democratic senators — including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — voted in favor of the resolution, as did three Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted against the resolution.

“We cannot let internet providers block or slow down internet traffic and force us to pay more for popular sites. The internet has always been and should always be free and open,” Manchin said in a statement. “I hope this will encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both legislative bodies to negotiate a responsible, balanced bipartisan solution that codifies strong net neutrality protections and finally resolves this debate.”

Capito told MetroNews in December said the repeal of net neutrality would spur development of Internet services.

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