Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GOP House & Senate Resolution "Disapproves" Net Neutraility

Republicans Attempt to Invalidate FCC Open Internet Order 02/16/2011 San Francisco -  Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate sitting on the key communications and technology policy committees, today formally introduced a Resolution of Disapproval which seeks nothing short of invalidating the Open Internet Order passed by the Federal Communications Commission.

House and Senate GOP members are using the Congressional Review Act to thus attempt to reverse the FCC action which was voted in a 3-2 decision on December 21, 2010. 

Chairman Fred Upton, House Committee on Energy & Commerce
We publish verbatim the media release from the the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the last few minutes:

"Leading the effort in the House are Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others to introduce identical legislation in the Senate. The Resolution of Disapproval reverses the FCC’s net neutrality rules with a simple majority in both chambers, and is filibuster-proof. 

Walden said, “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. Changing direction now will only harm innovation and the economy. I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate will join our efforts to stop the government from placing more onerous restrictions on the currently open and thriving Internet.”    

Upton said, “We held a hearing today in which we gave the commissioners of the FCC one more opportunity to provide sufficient evidence of a crisis that warrants government intervention. They failed. One of the greatest threats to job creation in our current economy is runaway regulation that is all cost and no benefit. The controversial Internet regulations stifle innovation, investment, and jobs. A federal bureaucracy should not be picking winners and losers.”

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, only 21 percent of the country supports network neutrality.  More than half polled said the free market will do a better job of protecting the Internet and 56 percent believe the FCC will use its powers to push a political agenda.

Chairman Greg Walden (l), House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce,
with House Speaker John Boehner.
At the hearing, Chairmen Walden and Upton pressed the commissioners to demonstrate a market failure or other existing risks to consumers that would prove the need for Internet regulations.  Rather than show any existing problem, the three FCC commissioners who advanced the rule merely speculated about the prospect of future harm. 

“I am concerned that this power grab will set a dangerous precedent to undermine the role of Congress as elected representatives of the people to determine the law of the land. I do not intent to allow this to occur,” concluded Upton.

The collateral statement from the Republican Minority on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is: here
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