Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), incoming Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, joined Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Lee Terry (R-NE), incoming Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, respectively, in pledging immediate action in the new Congress to fight the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) action to regulate the Internet. Reps. Upton, Walden and Terry will look toward the Congressional Review Act of 1996 (CRA) to fight the FCC's actions. The CRA allows Congress to review and, through joint resolution, repeal federal agency-promulgated rules.
Rep. Fred Upton, incoming Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, stated: "The FCC's hostile actions toward innovation, investment and job creation cannot be allowed to stand. We must use every resource available, including the Congressional Review Act, to strike down the FCC's brazen effort to regulate the Internet. Today's vote is a sad commentary that this administration and the FCC continue to ignore the will of the American people - our new majority is committed to protecting personal liberty and reducing the size and scope of the government. Despite FCC claims that these are just rules of the road that everyone agrees with, anyone can recognize that what the Commission claims to be statements of broad industry support are really cries of 'uncle' resulting from threats of even more onerous regulation. All the Commission has done today is further harm our economy and job growth."
Rep. Greg Walden, incoming Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, stated: "More troubling than the substance of the network neutrality rules are the legal theories underpinning them. If left unchallenged, this power grab will allow the Commission to regulate any interstate wired or wireless communication on barely more than a whim. For all these reasons, we plan to look at all legislative options for reversing the decision. We also plan to hold a series of hearings early next year on the substance, process and claims of authority underlying this proceeding."
Rep. Lee Terry, incoming Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, stated: "The FCC has irresponsibly decided to pursue a course unauthorized and opposed by most members of Congress. Today's decision is a huge disappointment as this will be a major setback for consumers and will stifle new investment. This is just more big government intervention in the marketplace to try and fix something that isn't broke."
Last week, Upton, Walden and Terry called upon FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for greater transparency as the Commission considers rules to regulate the Internet.