Walden to Offer Amendment to Block Funds for Implementation of Net Neutrality Rules

February 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today announced that he is offering an amendment to the Continuing Resolution to prohibit the FCC from using funds to implement the controversial internet regulations that the commission adopted in December.

"The recent attempts of the FCC to regulate the internet through the imposition of net neutrality rules is a solution in search of a problem," said Walden, who prepared the amendment in consultation with Appropriations Committee members Reps. Tom Graves (R-GA) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). "It will stifle innovation and investment in the internet. In the end these are issues better determined by network engineers, entrepreneurs, and consumers acting in a vigorous marketplace, not the subjective politicized judgments of a federal agency."

The amendment reads:

"None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement the Report and Order of the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (FCC 10-201, adopted by the Commission on December 21, 2010)."

Rep. Graves said, "Unelected bureaucrats who do not answer to the American people should not have control over the brightest frontier in our economy.  The explosive growth of the Internet -the entrepreneurship, jobs, and innovation of the last twenty years -is testament to free market-inspired competition.  It is totally unacceptable for FCC bureaucrats to circumvent Congress, defy judicial precedent, and invade the internet with cumbersome regulation.  Government control is an open invitation for political bias and special interest groups to influence regulations, stifle competition, and diminish the continued job growth and technological advancement that has been the hallmark of the Internet in our country.  President Obama's administration must not be allowed to throw a wet blanket on America's future."

Rep. Diaz-Balart said, "The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate both professionally and personally leading to innovation, investments and job creation. I am committed to ensuring the internet is protected from excessive government regulations that destroy jobs."

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine network neutrality and Internet regulation. Members of the subcommittee will specifically ask the question: "Network Neutrality and Internet Regulation: Warranted or More Economic Harm than Good?"

The hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is open to the public and press. Opening statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast will be available online at http://energycommerce.house.gov.

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