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Congressman Proposes to Bar FCC from Implementing Net Neutrality Rules

A Congressman on Monday filed an amendment to a resolution that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from using any funding to implement its controversial Open Internet Order.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) offered the amendment a few days after House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) introduced a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) to fund the federal government for the last seven months of the fiscal year. Rogers said the resolution contains more than $100 billion in spending cuts from last years Presidential budget request.

Graves offered amendment would bar the FCC from using any funds under H.R. 1 to implement or enforce the Net neutrality rules the agency issued last December and that are set to take effect later this year.

The House of Representatives was expected to debate and vote on the resolution beginning today.

In a statement, Graves joined other members of the GOP in blasting the FCC and its Net neutrality rules.

It is totally unacceptable for five power hungry FCC bureaucrats to circumvent Congress, defy judicial precedent, and invade the internet with cumbersome regulation,” said Graves, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

In December, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to prohibit fixed broadband carriers from blocking lawful content or unreasonably discriminating on their networks. Mobile broadband providers are prohibited from blocking lawful websites or applications that compete with their voice or video telephone services.

The Open Internet Order also requires fixed and mobile broadband carriers to make certain public disclosures in connection with their management practices, performance and commercial terms.

Although the order has not yet taken effect, MetroPCS and Verizon Communications have challenged the rules in appeals filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The FCC has moved to dismiss the appeals on procedural grounds but has acknowledged the companies could challenge the order later on.

Some members of Congress have vowed to repeal the rules and even strip the FCC of its authority to regulate the Internet.

In a congressional hearing Tuesday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R.-Va.) said the proceeding marked the first step towards ensuring that Congress rather than the FCC makes rules concerning the Internet, Online Media Daily reported.

All five FCC commissioners are expected to testify at a separate hearing on Wednesday, the publication reported.  


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