House Republicans moved to block regulations that they contend will transform Internet service providers into the equivalent of highly regulated public utilities. The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee voted 15-8 along party lines to advance a resolution that would overturn the so-called Net-neutrality rule approved by Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission in December.
House subcommittee votes to overturn Net neutrality rule
Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia and other House GOP members said the measure was needed to prevent "a government takeover of the Internet."
"It is simply another attempt by the federal government to control private industry and further burden free enterprise," Gingrey said in a written statement after the vote.
Democrats and Web content giants such as Google said the regulations are needed to prevent service providers from possibly imposing future limits on download sizes or varying charges based on bandwidth use.
"We can't wish away the concentrated market structure and assume that broadband providers will always act in the best interests of consumers and innovators," S. Derek Turner, research director at Free Press, a liberal advocacy group, told the panel in a hearing before the vote.
The measure requires a simple majority to pass each chamber of Congress, and legislative rules prevent members of Congress from amending or filibustering it. The full committee has not yet scheduled a vote on the measure, according to a spokeswoman.
Send us a letter