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GOP seeks strategy against Obama Internet move

GOP seeks strategy against Obama Internet move

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments Quinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas MORE (R-Texas) isn’t giving up on his effort to stop the Obama administration from transferring control of functions vital to the internet to an international governing authority by Oct. 1.

Ahead of a hearing designed to draw attention to the issue on Wednesday, Cruz released a list of 20 lawmakers in the House and Senate on Tuesday who also oppose the transfer. The list includes Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeePence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 End the American military presence in Somalia MORE (R-Utah), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? MORE (R-Fla.) and Reps. Sean DuffySean DuffyCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line McCarthy blasts Pelosi's comments on Trump's weight MORE (R-Wisc.), Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteNo documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself USCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction MORE (R-Va.) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).

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Cruz is seeking to get Republicans to back his call for including language in a government-funding measure that would stop the transfer of oversight of the domain name system which is central to how consumers reach websites.

On the Senate floor last week, Cruz derided the transition, saying that it “poses a significant threat to our freedom” and that “it will empower countries like Russia, China and Iran to be able to censor speech on the internet.”

But it is unclear how much support Cruz is building. His press release did not say whether all of the lawmakers listed would back adding the internet language to the must-pass spending measure. The resolution must be approved by Congress by Sept. 30 to prevent a government shutdown.

In the hearing, Cruz plans to “investigate the possible dangers,” that he argues could result from the transition.

Hearing witnesses include individuals whose organizations are directly involved in the transition: Lawrence E. Strickling, an official at the National Telecommunications And Information Administration (NTIA), and Göran Marby, head of the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of the domain name functions through a contract with Strickling's agency.

It’s not clear just how much support there is for Cruz’s position in his own party.

While a number of Republicans said they had reservations about the transfer, key Republicans have not yet echoed his fervor in calling for absolutist language to be added to a continuing resolution.

In a letter last week to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of Commerce Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Biden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid MORE, the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees asked for a delay in the transfer and for the administration to reconsider its position.

Senate Commerce Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session MORE (R-S.D.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (R-Iowa), House Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said “important accountability measures” need to be put in place to protect the internet's domain name system from global control.

While safeguards have been set up, the four chairmen said they needed to be properly “fleshed out, tested, or proven.”

Thune told reporters on Tuesday he and other senators were working to coordinate with Cruz, though he acknowledged not all senators might back demanding changes in the continuing resolution.

Members of the Senate, in particular, are looking to leave Washington soon to return to the campaign trail.

“We’re working trying to coordinate with Cruz and others who have concerns about the transition,” Thune said Tuesday, insisting that his efforts were not in conflict with Cruz’s.

“I think that right now we all want that on September 30 that transition does not occur because we don’t think it’s ready yet. He may have a different endgame than we do, but right now our objective is the same.”