House Republicans call for vote to block net neutrality rules

A group of 21 House Republicans on Thursday urged leadership to take up a resolution that would block the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality regulations. 

The group, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), also called on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to testify before the panel on March 17.

“We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet,” the group wrote in a letter to Wheeler. 

{mosads}The group of Judiciary Committee members is urging GOP leaders to take up a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress expedited authority to stop federal regulations after they are issued.

President Obama would most likely veto the resolution if it was approved by both chambers.

House Republicans attempted a similar effort in 2011, after the FCC approved its first net-neutrality proposal. Those regulations were subsequently struck down in court.

Since 1996, when the Congressional Review Act was signed into law, Congress has successfully disapproved only one set of regulations.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said he would introduce the disapproval resolution in the House. 

Earlier Thursday, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to “continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme,” comparing the regulations to ObamaCare. 

The group of Republicans said the FCC could use its antitrust laws to enforce open Internet rules, rather than reclassifying broadband under regulations governing traditional telephones, as it did Thursday. 

The new rules approved Thursday in a 3-2 vote would reclassify the Internet as a telecommunications service, a designation that gives the commission more authority to enforce its open Internet rules. The rules are meant to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or slowing traffic to any website while also preventing companies from negotiating deals for priority access. 

Republicans are considering a number of options to thwart the FCC regulation. Leaders of the Commerce committees in both chambers have floated legislation that would restrict some FCC authority, while also enacting some of the net neutrality principles that advocates support.

Democrats have largely balked at the legislation. 

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said the draft legislation is his preferred option. But he has also floated the idea of using the appropriations process or the Congressional Review Act to block the regulations.

Tags Bob Goodlatte Congressional Review Act Federal Communications Commission Net neutrality
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