Jonathan Charnitski, Managing Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 – The House of Representatives is anticipated to hold a floor debate and vote this week on a measure that would put the kibosh on net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission late last year, but the White House has said that it would likely veto such a measure should it come across the President’s desk.
House Joint Resolution 37, which is a Resolution of Disapproval, states simply that Congress disapproves of the Open Internet Order issued by the Commission late last year and that the rules shall have no effect.
A Resolution of Disapproval is a seldom-used Congressional maneuver under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that nullifies an action by an administrative agency – in this case, the FCC. To take effect, both the House and Senate must pass the measure by a simple majority and the President must sign off on the action.
The Order, which the Commission passed by a 3-2 vote in December of last year, provides three guidelines by which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must abide in their offerings to consumers. First, ISPs must provide services in a transparent manner by disclosing their network management practices and performance characteristics. Second, network providers must not block lawful content from their customers, and third, providers may not unreasonably discriminate by prioritizing certain network traffic without sufficient reason.
House Republicans, led by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, have carried a campaign against the Order, calling it unnecessary and an overreach of the FCC’s authority.
- Republicans in House vote to scrap net neutrality (americablog.com)
- House of Representatives votes to block FCC’s net neutrality rules (engadget.com)
- House Votes to Undo Net Neutrality Rules (wired.com)
- House passes anti-net neutrality resolution, veto likely (arstechnica.com)