House Approves Net Neutrality-Blocking Resolution

After a contentious
debate on the floor Friday interrupted by an attempt to keep the government
open past midnight, the Republican-controlled House voted Friday 240 to 179 to
invalidate the FCC's expanded and codified network neutrality rules, with 6
Democrats joining with Republicans.

At one point, minority
Whip Steny Hoyer interrupted the debate to try to keep the federal government
from shutting down by introducing a stop-gap CR in the middle of the FCC
debate, but it was ruled nongermane.

The Democratically
controlled Senate will almost certainly not approve the resolution, and the
president would almost certainly veto the resolution if it got to his desk,
but the issue got a high-profile vetting on C-SPAN."Americans want the Internet to remain free and open and the FCC's net neutrality rules provided just that," said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) after the vote. "I'm disappointed that House leadership wants to undo the integrity of the FCC's process and unravel their good work."

Democrats said the
Republicans were trying to kill the open Internet in service of monopolist
ISPs, while Republicans said they were keeping the Internet open and free of
government regulation. There was no middle ground.

 Dems who voted to kill net the neutrality rules were: Tim Bishop (NY), Dan Boren (D-OK), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Scott (D-Ga.), and Bennie Thompson (MS). Boren and Peterson were co-sponsors.

"It is a shame that the House is
focused on protecting the interests of large telecommunications companies
rather than on promoting the interests of innovative entrepreneurs," said
Public Knowledge only moments after the floor vote was concluded.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.