Senate GOP seeks cost-benefit analysis of net neutrality

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The letter was signed by Heller and Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Thune (S.D.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.) and John Boozman (Ark.).

The lawmakers requested a detailed explanation if the commission chooses to decline their request. The net-neutrality regulations are scheduled to go into effect roughly 90 days after they are delivered to the Office of Management and Budget, which happened earlier this month.

Republicans in both chambers have been open in their opposition to the rules, which they argue are an overreach by the FCC. A House effort to defund the regulations eventually fizzled, but legal challenges from telecom firms are expected. 

A federal court threw out the commission's previous attempt to enforce net neutrality last April, ruling the commission had no authority to regulate how Internet service providers manage their network traffic. 

The FCC's rules attempt to assert that authority without reclassifying broadband as a public utility, which would open Internet service providers up to further regulation. The commission has left the option of reclassifying broadband under Title II of the Communications Act open.