“I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.” - President Obama, 1/20/15
WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-SD) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama seeking his partnership to establish permanent protections for an open Internet and avoid protracted litigation – goals that can only be achieved through legislation.
The text of the letter from Upton and Thune to Obama follows below:
Dear Mr. President:
Our respective committees in the House and Senate recently began an open and honest effort to achieve a bipartisan legislative solution to protect Internet users, promote innovation, and encourage robust broadband investment. Such a law, enacted with your signature, would avoid the legal uncertainty created by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) nearly decade-long endeavor to determine its own authority to regulate broadband Internet services.
Before concluding your remarks to Congress and the American people in this year’s State of the Union address, you said, “I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.” We accept your invitation to work together to achieve positive and enduring results for all Americans who rely on the Internet in our increasingly digital economy.
We believe there is an opportunity to work together to provide legislative certainty to the net neutrality goals you articulated on November 10, 2014. We have put forward legislation that seeks to codify the principles you highlighted in your statement, including prohibiting blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. This legislation places these principles into law, without the uncertainty of litigation that Commission action would entail. Working together to craft sustainable protections will have lasting benefits for our country and Internet users alike.
Finding an agreement on enforceable authority for the FCC will have a profound, positive impact on Internet users, edge innovators, and infrastructure investment – all without the legal uncertainty that exists absent clear statutory guidance.
Fred Upton John Thune
Click here to view a signed copy of the letter to President Obama.
Upton, Thune, and House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) have together offered draft legislation that guarantees Internet users will continue to be the decision makers for the content they want, while ensuring that innovation and investment continue to fuel the robust future of the Internet. The three have repeatedly stated that they want to advance bipartisan protections for the Internet and are open to working together to achieve their goal.
Click here for more information about their draft proposal.