Republicans Call on FCC to Release Net Neutrality Proposal Before Vote

House and Senate Republicans are asking the FCC to release Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal before it comes to a vote on Feb. 26.

The FCC usually does not release the complete text of proposals before a vote, even though the policy language is circulated among commissioners and members of the media are briefed on major points.

But at a hearing on net neutrality earlier this week, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon), suggested that the process he and other lawamkers have taken to draft their own net neutrality bill has been more transparent than that of the FCC.

In a letter to Wheeler on Friday, Walden, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) called on the FCC to release the draft text of the net neutrality proposal when it is released to fellow commissioners on Feb. 5.

“Transparency in this matter is particularly vital as so many of the public participants who have expressed an interest in net neutrality have no meaningful access to the proceeding at the commission,” they wrote in their letter.

An FCC spokeswoman said that they have received the letter and are reviewing it.

Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, unveiled a draft of their proposed legislation last week, along with Walden, who is chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

The bill would ban Internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or from charging for speedier delivery of content to their subscribers. But at a series of hearings this week, Democrats who have called for robust net neutrality rules criticized the legislation because it would place limits on the FCC’s authority over Internet providers, making it more difficult for the agency to respond to consumer complaints. Such Internet firms as Amazon also have expressed their misgivings about the GOP approach.

The GOP bill would ban the FCC from reclassifying the Internet as a Title II telecommunications service, a regulatory move that would enable the agency to have a more solid legal footing to impose rules of the road for broadband. Although broadband providers say that reclassification would stifle investment, President Obama supports such a move, and Wheeler has hinted that the he is favoring such an approach.

More Biz

  • A police line forbids the access

    L.A. County Orders Closure of Beaches and Hiking Trails

    Those hoping to escape to the beach this weekend after being pent up at home are out of luck. On Friday, Los Angeles County ordered the closure of beaches and hiking trails, hoping to avoid the crowds that could cause the spread of the coronavirus. State and local officials had previously ordered the closure of [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets $2.5 Billion Debt Offering as Company Faces Tough Scrutiny

    ViacomCBS has disclosed plans for a $2.5 billion debt offering, an effort that comes as the newly merged company faces tough scrutiny of its growth strategy and balance sheet amid the coronavirus-related economic crisis. ViacomCBS said it would seek to raise $2.5 billion for cash that may be used to help pay down some of [...]

  • A2IM

    A2IM’s Indie Week and Libera Awards Go Virtual for 2020

    In yet another sign of the times, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) today announced that the 2020 installment of its Indie Week conference — the world’s biggest gathering point specifically for the independent music community — is moving online this year, obviously due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which also includes the [...]

  • Amber Heard Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Allowed to Pursue Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard

    A Virginia judge on Friday refused to dismiss Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Heard, allowing him to proceed with a claim that she defamed him in a Washington Post opinion piece. In the piece, published in December 2018, Heard alluded to her previous claims that Depp had assaulted her during their marriage, though she did [...]

  • Disney World crowd

    Disneyland and Walt Disney World Now Indefinitely Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    While Disneyland and Walt Disney World had initially planned to close through March in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and comply with shelter-in-place guidelines, the U.S. Disney parks have now announced that they will “remain closed until further notice.” “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content