Republicans claim victory in net neutrality ruling

Republicans lawmakers applauded a federal court’s decision to strike down the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules, claiming victory for the unregulated Internet.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped their self-imposed boundaries by regulating Internet providers the way it regulates telephone companies.

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The net neutrality rules kept Internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to certain websites and online services. Supporters say the rules protect users, while opponents say the rules keep Internet providers from innovating.

In a statement, Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) — chairmen of the House Commerce Committee and Subcommittee on Communications, respectively — applauded the court’s ruling, calling the decision “a victory for jobs and innovation.”

“Just as before the commission adopted its net neutrality order, with today’s decision American consumers will continue to have access to the Internet and to the content of their choosing without the government playing the role of traffic cop,” they said.

House Commerce Committee Vice-Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called the agency’s “egregious” net neutrality rules “socialist regulations.”

“This ruling is a historic victory for America’s innovators and the free market,” she said in a statement.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the court’s decision to strike down the rules was “a win for consumers and broadband innovation.”

“I have long opposed efforts that would allow the government to regulate the Internet,” he said, noting that the decision “sends a strong message to federal agencies that may attempt to direct by regulation that which is not authorized by Congress.”