Skip to comments.GOP lawmakers threaten to repeal Net neutrality
Posted on 12/21/2010 3:42:42 PM PST by NoLibZone
Less than an hour after the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality rules, Republican lawmakers began staking their claim in the next potential leg of the debate: repeal.
The first calls to roll back the FCC's new net neutrality order came Tuesday from the House's most senior Republicans: House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio and Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, as well as the incoming leaders of the chamber's top tech and telecom committees.
The members each threatened to limit the agency's funds or restrict its jurisdiction in the aftermath of the FCCs vote, with Boehner proclaiming the "new House majority will work to reverse this unnecessary and harmful federal government power grab next year."
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), soon-to-be chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, later elaborated to reporters Tuesday afternoon that he plans to bring all five commissioners before the panel to discuss net neutrality at "the first hearing out of the box" next year. He even signaled the possibility that Republicans may pursue repeal through the Congressional Review Act an avenue that allows members to reject agency rules without threat of filibuster, provided they can secure a majority support against net neutrality.
Joining Upton's calls for strict scrutiny and eventual repeal were Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Walden, who will soon lead the House's top tech subcommittee, stressed the need to rebuff any FCC "power grab that'd allow the commission to regulate" other areas of broadband. Blackburn also floated the possibility of blocking agency funds for use on net neutrality, adding: "You will see activism on each of these levels."
Congressional furor follows Tuesdays 3-2, party-line vote on Genachowski's plan to adopt basic net neutrality protections for broadband networks. The order will prohibit Internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from blocking access to lawful content and websites. It also prohibits traditional wired broadband providers from unreasonably discriminating against any traffic, though there will be no similar rule in place for wireless providers.
Following the vote, the chairman said he was ready to take on any criticism.
"We adopted today a strong and balanced order that has widespread support and that focuses on the importance of Internet freedom," he said. "It's a strong and balanced order and I look forward to speaking about it with anyone who is interested.
Some Democrats hail the FCC's vote on Tuesday as the next step in ensuring that high-speed Internet networks remain open. Supporters included Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Mark Warner of Virgnia, Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Doris Matsui of California.
President Barack Obama also backed the FCC, saying the decision is an important component of our overall strategy to advance American innovation, economic growth and job creation.
But those statements of approval may not be enough to stave off critics already interested in undoing Genachowski's work as early as next month.
Other Republican leaders also sounded off Tuesday against the FCC's net neutrality order including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who first signaled during a floor speech that he and others in his party would "push back against new rules and regulations." Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), ranking member on her chamber's Commerce Committee, signaled she would revive her efforts to derail the FCC's latest move.
Terry, meanwhile, told POLITICO the vote "certainly sets our agenda for the Energy and Commerce Committee," as he and others, including Upton, plan to discuss their next steps very soon.
"The first thing we'll do is call Julius up and have him explain himself, we need to study the proposal, and then we'll draft legislation to undo it," he said in an interview.
"We'll use everything available to us so yes, we'll use Appropriations, we'll use the legislative process," he continued. "This is really a war against Congress. ... this is a power grab by an agency almost to unheard of levels. So we have a constitutional obligation to fight this order to the death."
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who will lead the Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee, also joined his GOP colleagues in vowing to heavily scrutinize the agency if it ever moved forward with Genachowski's proposal.
"I will exercise strong oversight on the FCC on this and other issues," Stearns said in a statement Tuesday.
"Also, working with Chairman Walden, we will outline that Internet regulation is out of the FCC's jurisdiction and that regulation will hamper economic growth and job creation," he added, noting he too would pursue a resolution of disapproval next year.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46685.html#ixzz18n9TsoOU
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46685.html#ixzz18n9KIx39
Skinning a cat with attitude!
Good on them.
Like it’s a bad thing?
C’mon now. Where’s all the GOP haters? Cmon? Where’s the “spineless” comments?
GOP “threatens” is like Obama sending a stern letter.
I’ll believe a repeal when I see it.
Countdown to throwing out the spineless and RINOs in 2012.
It hasn’t gotten tot he Senate yet. Senate GOP is where spineless resides.
I can also understand shutting down web sites that steal property such as songs and stories. But much beyond that seems to be to be in realm of free speech and should not be discriminated against.
Am I reading the comments all wrong?
Talk is cheap. I'll reserve judgement until they actually do something concrete.
They can threaten all they want. Until both houses of congress pass it, and 0bama signs it, or doesn’t and it becomes law - it don’t mean shinola.
Restrict freedom and create jobs...yeah that will work.
These people have no shame.
Can you explain why this is a good thing? I don’t really want Comcast and AT&T deciding what sites I can visit or what I can download. Isn’t net neutrality what we have now?
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)
FINALLY! God has smiled upon Oregon, and SENSE appears from this state I live in!
I need to go play the lottery.
Well, Boehner said he is going to do something about this.
Is it all hat and no cattle? You be the judge. I just don’t know.
The fact that they are GOP doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.
I want actions that result in severe action, not just talk.
Because it is yet another industry the government thinks it has the right to control.
No, it doesn’t have the right.
GOP lawmakers threaten to repeal Net neutrality”
I pray that they repeal this one. I could not believe my ears this morning listening to the radio. Last time govt. got involved in anything it was just a mess.