FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski defended the agency’s net neutrality rules at a Congressional hearing yesterday amid growing threats from House Republicans to overturn the controversial regulations.
In testimony before the GOP-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee, Genachowski defended the economic merits of the regulations, saying they ensured a “level playing field” for online entrepreneurs while providing Internet service providers with enough flexibility to manage their networks.
“I believe we did the right thing,” Genachowski said in his prepared remarks.
House Republicans from the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology called all five FCC commissioners, including Chairman Genachowski, to testify on the potential economic fallout of the agency’s net neutrality rules, which passed by a divided 3-2 vote in December.
The GOP has moved to cut the funds needed to implement the rules, and yesterday House and Senate Republicans introduced a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act in an effort reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.
“We held a hearing today in which we gave the commissioners of the FCC one more opportunity to provide sufficient evidence of a crisis that warrants government intervention. They failed,” said Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement. “One of the greatest threats to job creation in our current economy is runaway regulation that is all cost and no benefit. The controversial Internet regulations stifle innovation, investment, and jobs.”
Upton and Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, led the House version of the resolution. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, introduced identical legislation in the Senate. The resolution, which would overturn the FCC’s net neutrality rules, has a simple majority in both chambers and is filibuster-proof if acted upon within a specific 60-day window.
Filed Under: Industry regulations