The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today approved H.J.Res. 37, a congressional Resolution of Disapproval to overturn the FCC's controversial Internet rules. The resolution passed through the subcommittee by a vote of 15 to 8.
"We have an open and thriving Internet thanks to our historical hands-off approach," said Walden. "The Internet works pretty well; it's the government that doesn't. Rather than show an actual problem, the FCC relies on speculation of future harm. The FCC even admits in the order that it conducted no market power analysis. These regulations will cost jobs and hinder the necessary investment in network upgrades on which consumers and content providers rely, thus thwarting the competitive free market vibrancy and innovation of the Internet."
Prior to the vote, the subcommittee held a second hearing to discuss the implementation of these controversial rules.
Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, "As our hearing today demonstrated, the rules will stifle small businesses and chill investment. It will harm the network core of the Internet, and therefore threaten the architecture that web providers on the edge depend on. While the larger companies may be able to grin and bear it, thankful they escaped even more draconian regulation, upstarts and regional providers will have a much tougher go of it. I applaud the subcommittee for voting to protect the freedom and innovation that allows the Internet to thrive today."
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said "It's amazing that we're sitting here talking about something that I don't even think the FCC had a right really to do, that was outside of the venue, outside of the will of the body of the American people."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) questioned a supporter of the rules about how well the Internet works without government regulation, noting: "You set up a very successful company using the Internet as it was, basically the status quo Internet, and you did that without a whole lot of trouble: is that right?"
Opponents of the FCC's controversial regulations have noted that the commission has not demonstrated any harmful industry practices that need to be curbed with regulations. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) asked: "Is this a hammer looking for a nail?"