House GOP lawmaker readies measure to block Internet rules

House GOP lawmaker readies measure to block Internet rules
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Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsImmigration overhaul on life support in the House Time to set politics aside to move ahead on criminal justice reform Don’t kick the can down the road on prison reform — now is the time for change MORE (R-Ga.) is slated to introduce a resolution of disapproval to block new net neutrality rules when lawmakers return from recess next Tuesday. 

Collins first vowed to make the move after the Federal Communications Commission approved the regulations in February, but he had to wait until the rules were finalized and formally passed along to Congress. 

“My resolution would be the most direct way to rein in an agency that refused these rules, which would stifle innovation and growth, before it finally surrendered to White House political pressure,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. 

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The FCC voted 3-2 to approve rules to reclassify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service, similar to traditional telephones. The new authority would give the commission more power to enforce rules preventing service providers from prioritizing any Internet traffic. 

A resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act allows for an expedited vote in Congress to block new regulations. It only requires a simple majority in both chambers, allowing Republicans in the upper chamber to avoid a filibuster threat.

Nearly every member of the House Judiciary Committee has previously backed using the act to block the Internet rules. 

Though Republicans control both chambers, the resolution has little chance of ever getting past a presidential veto. That hurdle is why all but one disapproval resolution has failed. 

Last month, Collins told The Hill it remains a worthwhile effort despite the veto threat.  

“I’ve never been afraid to work the legislative process. If that means the president vetoes it, then so be it. It’s about time he did his job. He’s been shielded from doing his job for many years,” Collins said. 

Republicans have taken a number of different paths to get rid of the rules. A similar proposal introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to block the rules has gained dozens of co-sponsors. But leaders on the House and Senate Commerce committees have called for a more tempered approach, floating draft legislation that would codify a number of net neutrality principles while also rolling back the FCC’s authority.

All congressional action faces long odds. And outside groups are preparing lawsuits to challenge the rules in court.