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House Subcommittee Will Hold Legislative Hearing On FCC-Blocking Bill

The House Communications & Internet Subcommittee early Wednesday postponed markup of a resolution that would invalidate the FCC's new network neutrality rules and agreed to hold a legislative hearing.

That came after committee Democratic leaders asked Republicans to put off the vote until a legislative hearing had been held on the substance of the bill.

"The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will reschedule a vote on a resolution to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's controversial Internet regulations," the committee said in the e-mail, saying only that a date and time "would be announced." No mention was made of holding a legislative hearing first, however.

A spokesperson for the committee confirmed the delay was in response to the request from the minority and that a legislative hearing would be held, but had no date. It will have to be sooner than later because there is a time limit of 60 days for action.

 The subcommittee had held a hearing Feb. 16 with all five FCC Commissioners to give them an opportunity to make a case for why the resolution of disapproval should not be advanced. "We did not feel that they gave us sufficient response for either their legal authority or why we shouldn't move forward," said the spokesperson. "But the minority has requested another hearing on these issues, so we welcome the opportunity to shine additional light on the consequences of these regulations for job creators and American innovation."

As recently as Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) had said the mark-up would be Wednesday, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has indicated there could be floor action as soon as the end of this month.

The FCC voted on the new regs Dec. 21, but due to procedural vetting with the OMB over paperwork the rules generate, they will not go into effect until mid-summer at the earliest.