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Truthout: House Passes Anti-Net Neutrality Resolution

April 9, 2011- The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Friday, with the support of a handful of Democrats, passed a joint resolution to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality regulations that would enforce competitive behavior among Internet companies.

Democrats who voted in favor of the resolution along with their Republican colleagues are Reps. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma), Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia), a conservative Blue Dog, David Scott (D-Georgia), Kurt Shrader (D-Oregon), Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) and Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota).

H.J. Res. 37, which disapproves of FCC rules “relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices,” passed 240-179. The resolution will now be sent to the Senate for a vote, where it is unlikely to be approved by the Democratic majority.

As Truthoutpreviously reported, the resolution of disapproval is a rarely used procedure that allows Congress to formally reject and reverse the actions of a federal agency. House Republicans previously introduced a resolution of disapproval last November to overturn the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, but were unsuccessful.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon), chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, said the anti-net neutrality resolution amounted to Congress recognizing that it had not “authorized the FCC to regulate the Internet.”

“If not challenged, the FCC's power grab would allow it to regulate any interstate communications service on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from Congress,” Walden said.

Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for the Consumers Union, said FCC regulations are necessary to prevent Internet providers from limiting or blocking access to legal websites.



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