President Obama issues veto threat on attempt to repeal net-neutrality rules

President Obama will veto an attempt to repeal the Federal Communications Commissions net-neutrality rules if it passes the Senate, the White House said in a news release Tuesday.

The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of S.J. Res. 6, which would undermine a fundamental part of the nation’s Open Internet and innovation strategy — an enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open, the White House said.

The House approved a resolution to repeal the rules in April. The Senate version is sponsored by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and has an additional 42 Republican co-sponsors. It has no Democratic co-sponsors.

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The Senate is expected to debate the resolution Wednesday and vote Thursday, said a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The spokesman said the resolution needs only a simple majority to pass and is not subject to a filibuster.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a key centrist vote, told The Hill on Monday evening that he hadnt decided how he would vote on the measure.

The veto threat is unsurprising: Obama promised to support net-neutrality rules during his 2008 campaign.

Overcoming a presidential veto would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.

The FCCs net-neutrality regulations prevent Internet service providers from slowing down or speeding up access to websites. Wireless carriers are banned from blocking lawful websites or applications that compete with their services.

Supporters of the rules say they preserve competition and protect consumer choice, but opponents argue they impose unnecessary burdens on businesses and amount to government regulation of the Internet.

The FCC approved the rules along party lines last December. They are scheduled to go into effect Nov. 20.

It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world, the White House said in its release. If the President is presented with S.J. Res. 6, which would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution.