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Upton: Pair Of Dems Join FCC-Blocking Effort

House Energy &
Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich) said Monday that at least two
Democrats have joined the Republican-backed effort (H. J. Res 37)
to block the FCC's network neutrality rules, and Communications Subcommittee
Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is angling for more.

Walden had said in an
interview with C-SPAN that there was Democratic backing for blocking the FCC,
and not just the Title II version that had initially concerned many Democrats.
The bill had 50 Republican co-sponsors when it was approved in subcommittee
last week.

In a release on a
"dear colleague" letter
being circulated by Walden Monday, Upton pointed out that Reps. Collin Peterson
(D-MN) and Dan Boren (D-OK) had joined Upton, Walden and Communications
Subcommittee Vice Chair Lee Terry (R-Neb.) in asking other Dems and
Republicans to back the resolution of disapproval being marked up March 15
(opening statements on the resolution are today (March 14).

The Dems signed
onto a letter that called the regs "unnecessary and job-destroying
rules to regulate the Internet."

The letter
highlights opposition to the new rules from Amy Tykeson, CEO
of BendBroadband and a member of the National Cable
& Telecommunications board. NCTA has come out in favor of the
compromise regs it helped hammer out in negotiations with other
stakeholders and the FCC. But Tykeson in a letter to Walden he read during
the hearing on the resolution last week, she said that the FCC rules were
picking winners and losers, something Walden has also been saying, and that
they would "cost jobs, stall innovation and dampen investment."

The resolution almost
certainly will not secure Senate approval, but Walden says the issue still
needs to be spotlighted, saying the public continues to be interested in it.
Separately, Republican House members tried to block funding for the rules in
the six-month continuing resolution (CR) that passed in the House several weeks
ago but was defeated in the Senate last week.

Walden and Upton have
also said they could hold hearings or conduct investigations of the FCC's
process as other ways to keep a spotlight on the rules, which in any event
won't go into effect until midsummer at the earliest.