By Kim Hart - 10/22/09 10:35 PM EDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill today that would prohibit the FCC from enacting net neutrality rules. But Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the lead sponsors of net neutrality legislation in the last session of Congress, said today that they would continue to monitor the FCC's proceeding and are open to introducing legislation to ensure net neutrality safeguards, if necessary.
Several other Democrats weighed in today, indicating they would be willing to take legislative action to provide cover for the FCC's proposals. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said, "As President Obama has noted, with barriers to entry that are low and equal for all comers, the open nature of the Internet platform ensures that demand for information, services and content —and not control of access — dictates success for the Internet’s innovation and growth. In addition to the Commission’s impending work on a blueprint to help ensure the delivery of broadband services to all Americans, net neutrality is a defining issue of the digital age."
Waxman also issued a separate joint statement with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, in support of the FCC's rulemaking.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the author of the first ever net neutrality bill, said, “The Internet enables innovation without permission, and we need to ensure that special interests cannot erect toll booths on the information superhighway that impede the innovation that has helped power our economy and create jobs.”
Markey, along with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), introduced another bill to codify open-Internet regulations earlier this year.