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White House: President Should Veto Net Neutrality Resolution If It Passes

The White House is advising the President to veto the network neutrality-blocking joint resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res. 6) in the unlikely event that it passes the Senate on a vote expected Thursday.

The resolution would invalidate the FCC's Dec. 2010 vote to expand and codify its network neutrality rules, which are scheduled to go into effect Nov. 20. A similar resolution passed the House, but is not expected to be approved in the Senate.

In an advisory on the bill issued Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget, the administration said that it strongly oposes the meausre, which it says would  "undermine a fundamental part of the Nation's Open Internet and innovation strategy -- an enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open."

The President made network neutrality a campaign issue when he ran in 2008, and gave the rules a shout-out when they were approved last December, so the opposition to the resolution comes as no surprise.

"The rule at issue resulted from a process that brought together parties on all sides of this issue - from consumer groups to technology companies to broadband providers -- to enable their voices to be heard," said the White House, a reference to the fact that a number of industry groups, including phone company reps and the National Cable & Telecommunications Assocaition, were part of the negotiations on the compromise proposal.

"Notably, the Federal Communications Commission's rule reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation," the White House said. "Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation's economic recovery. It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world."

The administration has made wireless broadband deployment a national priority, although the new rules don't actually apply to wireless.

"If the President is presented with S.J. Res. 6, which would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution," the administration statement says.