GOP Moves To Nix Open Internet Rules
Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday introduced resolutions that would vacate the Federal Communications Commission's recent Net neutrality order.
The Senate resolution of disapproval was introduced by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), a longtime opponent of neutrality regulation. She was joined by 39 other Senators. In the House, Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are leading the effort to vacate the regulations.
"From the Internet's inception, we have taken a hands-off approach. The Internet did not become the explosive driver of communications and economic growth it is today until we turned it over to free enterprise," Walden said in a statement accompanying the resolution. "Changing direction now will only harm innovation and the economy."
The resolutions of disapproval won't take effect unless passed by a majority in the House and Senate and also signed by the president.
President Barack Obama has said in the past that he supports Net neutrality; he also was classmates with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at Harvard Law School.
The resolutions were offered only hours after the House Energy and Commerce Committee grilled all five Federal Communications Commission members for more information about the neutrality order they approved 3-2 in December. That order bans all broadband providers -- wireline and wireless -- from blocking sites or competing applications. It also prohibits wireline broadband providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination.
House Republicans have said that the FCC lacks authority to issue neutrality rules and that such regulations are unnecessary. Democrats, on the other hand, generally support the FCC's order.
Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in his opening statement that he wishes the FCC had gone even further than it did in crafting neutrality rules.