House Republicans Vote to Overturn FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling
In December, the FCC voted to prohibit Internet service providers from blocking legal content on their networks, while allowing them to restrict access according to bandwidth use. The 3-2 ruling elicited uproars from free market advocates, and a swift legal appeal from Verizon. Yesterday, the Republican-dominated House decided to defund the FCC's initiative, as part of an amendment added to an expansive government spending bill.
"We think the FCC overstepped their boundaries," Republican Steve Scalise said during yesterday's debate. "This is something that should be done and solved in the halls of Congress." Democratic Representative Edward Markey, on the other hand, argued that overturning the ruling would hinder competition and innovation. "Verizon's not going to invent anything new," he countered. "What they want to do is squeeze competitors."
The measure must still pass the Senate before arriving at President Obama's desk for signature. The Senate has yet to schedule a vote on the issue,and, according to the Wall Street Journal, Democratic Senators have no intent to even bring it up for debate.
House Republicans, however, seem determined to quash the FCC's verdict. "We all want an open and thriving Internet. That Internet exists today. Consumers can access anything they want with the click of a mouse thanks to our historical hands-off approach," said Representative Greg Walden, who sponsored the resolution. "I am pleased that my colleagues in the House accepted my amendment to ensure the FCC does not have the funds to implement the controversial Internet regulations."