White House pledges to veto anti-net-neutrality resolution
Some members of Congress are still bent on overturning the FCC’s not-in-effect-until-Thanksgiving net neutrality rules. In a vote coming up this week, the Senate will vote on S.J. Res. 6, “Disapproval of Federal Communications Commission Rule Regulating the Internet and Broadband Industry Practices.”
The resolution of disapproval is a simple one. It says, in its entirety:
That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (Report and Order FCC 10-201, adopted by the Commission on December 21, 2010), and such rule shall have no force or effect.
The White House, which has made only tiny peeps about net neutrality since President Obama’s election campaign, today did release a statement standing up for the watered-down rules passed last December by the FCC. (The rules are so weak that they almost entirely exempt wireless networks.) The statement confirms that Obama would veto the Senate resolution.
“The open Internet enables entrepreneurs to create new services without fear of undue discrimination by network providers,” it says. “Federal policy has consistently promoted an Internet that is open and facilitates innovation and investment, protects consumer choice, and enables free speech… Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery. It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.”
S.J. Res 6 would not “safeguard the free and open Internet,” the statement concludes, and Obama’s advisers “would recommend that he veto the Resolution.”
Whatever happens in Congress, the net neutrality rules are also the subject of lawsuits.