14 Republicans move to block Internet rules

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Thirteen Republicans joined Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) in support of a resolution that would block new Internet rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission. 

The simple, eight-line resolution introduced Monday reads that “Congress disapproves of the rules” passed in February and that they “shall have no force or effect.”

The resolution under the Congressional Review Act would give Congress expedited procedures to get rid of the regulations that reclassify broadband Internet under authority governing traditional telephones. Advocates say those new FCC regulations are necessary to ensure service providers treat all Internet traffic equally. 

The Congressional Review Act allows for both chambers to take an up-or-down vote, without the threat of a filibuster in the Senate. 

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Va.) signed onto the resolution, as did the vice chairman of the Commerce Committee, Bob Latta (Ohio). Others included Reps. Steve Chabot (Ohio), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga), Glenn Grothman (Wis.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Rick Allen (Ga.), Ryan Zinke (Mont.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Sam Johnson (Texas), Dennis Ross (Fla.), Buddy Carter (Ga.) and Vern Buchanan (Fla).

Collins serves as vice chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. 

While Republicans are universally opposed to the new FCC regulations, they have split on which tactic is best to get rid of them. The Collins resolution, as well as another bill by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to completely block the rules, would almost certainly run into a presidential veto. 

GOP leaders of the House and Senate Commerce Committee have floated draft legislation meant as a compromise with net neutrality advocates, but no Democrat has signed on. The bill would put in place some net neutrality principles. But Democrats are concerned with another provision that would restrict some FCC authority over broadband.  

The FCC regulations were published in the Federal Register on Monday, opening up the floodgates for challenges through the courts.