Republican lawmakers urge Obama to scrap net-neutrality rules

Two GOP lawmakers urged President Obama on Thursday to scrap the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality rules, saying they fail to meet a "common sense test" not to place unnecessary burdens on businesses.

"Implementation of the net neutrality rules could derail the investment and innovation that have been the hallmark of the information economy in the United States," wrote Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) in a letter to Obama. "The net neutrality rules at best create uncertainty in the technology sector and at worst could hinder this vital economic engine from creating the jobs Americans need."


Both lawmakers serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden chairs the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

The net-neutrality rules 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.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says the rules preserve competition and protect consumer choice.

But Walden and Rogers argued that the rules violate Obama's pledge to not adopt regulations that impose unnecessary burdens on businesses. In his address to Congress last month, Obama said, "We should have no more regulation than the health, safety and security of the American people require. Every rule should meet that common-sense test."

The lawmakers said the net-neutrality rules fail that "common sense test."

They said the regulations would kill jobs and stifle innovation.  

"We urge you to bring the FCC's vision for regulation in line with your stated policy by stopping the implementation of the FCC's net neutrality rules," they wrote.

Obama shelved an Environmental Protection Agency rule to tighten smog standards last month, but he has stated his support for the net-neutrality rules and even promised to push for the standards during his presidential campaign. 

The FCC adopted the net-neutrality order late last year. The rules are set to go into effect on Nov. 20, but several groups, including Verizon have sued, arguing the FCC lacks the authority to impose the regulations.