House Passes Amendment to Hamstring FCC Internet Rules

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed an amendment to an annual spending bill that prohibits the Federal Communications Commission from using funds to implement controversial Internet rules the agency adopted in December but have not yet gone into effect.

The vote was 244 to 181, the Associated Press reported.

Rep. Greg Walden (R.-Ore.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, introduced an amendment that is part of a bill to fund the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year 2011. 

Congress must pass some form of a spending bill by midnight on March 4 or the federal government would be forced to shut down, Dow Jones reported.

Walden said the amendment was a stop gap measure while we work toward passing a more permanent solution.”

Republican leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday moved to repeal the FCCs Network neutrality rules by introducing a Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act.

The law could enable Congress to overturn rules that prevent broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon Communications from blocking lawful content or unreasonably discriminating on their networks.

In December, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to adopt four basic Internet rules that are included in the agencys Open Internet Order.

The rules wont likely take effect until at least the spring, but MetroPCS and Verizon Communications already have challenged the order in appeals filed in Washington, D.C.

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