Rep. Doyle Shakes CRA Stick at Net-Neutrality Rules Rollback

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee, said he will propose using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC's rollback of net-neutrality rules if FCC chair Ajit Pai does not stand down.

That is the legislative maneuver Republicans used to invalidate a number of Obama-era regs earlier this year, including the repeal of the broadband privacy rules established under the Tom Wheeler-led FCC.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Tuesday (Dec. 12) called on Congress to step in, as well, to resolve the net-neutrality regulation debate, but not that way.

“The answer to monopolies has always been regulation and competition, and as much as some of the FCC commissioners don’t want to acknowledge it, net neutrality and the regulation of ISPs under Title II are essential for providing real competition in the broadband marketplace," Doyle said.

Doyle said he and dozens of other legislators would be sending a letter Wednesday (Dec. 13) urging Pai not to repeal the regs, but that if the FCC does so Dec. 14, as planned, Doyle would introduce the CRA-based legislation.

It is essentially a shot across the bow since the Republicans controlling Congress are fans of the reg rollback. Republicans did use the CRA to reverse the FCC's vote, under Pai's Democratic predecessor, on a broadband privacy framework.

John Eggerton

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.