Senator John Ensign today joined Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to introduce a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal net neutrality regulations recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A companion measure was introduced in the House by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.). The Senate resolution is cosponsored by thirty-nine Republican senators.
"The FCC's net neutrality order is anti-free market, anti-competitive, will threaten American innovation and cost American jobs," said Senator John Ensign. "There is a role for the government in guiding the future of broadband, but net neutrality misses the mark. The new government restrictions provided for under the FCC's Order will only serve to reduce the private sector's investment in our nation's broadband infrastructure. Rather, Congress should work with industry to find ways to encourage broadband investment and to promote competition among Internet providers. This resolution of disapproval is a step in the right direction to reverse the FCC's misstep."
"Congress today has taken an important step toward rolling back onerous regulations adopted by the FCC that destroys the "hands off' approach that has allowed the Internet to grow and flourish," said Senator Hutchison. "It is vital that we take a stand to overturn the FCC's action, which will make our nation less competitive because countries in Europe and Asia are choosing not to inhibit their broadband networks with such restrictions. I encourage all my colleagues in the Senate and House to support this crucial piece of legislation."
"The Internet has transformed our society, our economy, and the very way we communicate with others. It's served as a remarkable platform for innovation at the end of the 20th Century and now at the beginning of the 21st Century -- and all of this has been made possible because people have been free to create and innovate, to push the limits of invention free from government intrusion," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. "As Americans become more aware of what's happening here, I suspect many will be as alarmed as I am at the government's involvement. They'll wonder, as many already do, if this is a Trojan Horse for further meddling by the government. We intend to use the tools available to us to push back against their intrusion and meddling, and I want to thank Kay for taking the first step in our effort."
The CRA allows for the expedited consideration of a privileged resolution of disapproval to stop a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation with the full force of law. It cannot be filibustered if acted upon within a specific 60-day window and needs only a simple majority in the Senate to pass.