Amendment to defund net neutrality passes

The House passed an amendment to the Republican spending bill on Thursday to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using funding to implement net neutrality rules, which Republicans strongly object to.

Communications subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) offered the amendment, which passed in a 244 to 181 vote. 

Analysts question whether this amendment, along with other GOP defunding measures, can survive the legislative process. The FCC’s net neutrality rules, passed in December, have strong support from Senate Democrats and President Obama. 

The amendment sparked a heated floor debate on Thursday about the merit of broadband regulations. 

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the communications subcommittee, and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) mounted a strong defense of the FCC rules. 

Walden questioned why the FCC is shielding Web companies from regulation while punishing broadband providers.

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