House Republicans are trying to block the new net neutrality rules passed by the FCC, and are turning a victory for the open internet into an Obama conspiracy theory.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Republicans threatened to block the new net neutrality rules:
We are also troubled by the manner in which the ‘Open Internet’ rules were formulated. On November 10, 2014, President Obama urged the FCC to impose Title II regulations on the Internet. Shortly thereafter, you began making statements in support of a Title II approach. Certainly, the timing of your support for Title II following the President’s recommendation calls into question the degree, if not the existence, of the FCC’s independence from the White House.
We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet. We plan to support and urge our colleagues to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving the “Open Internet” rules. Not only will such a resolution nullify the ‘Open Internet’ rules, the resolution will prevent the FCC from relying on Title II for any future net neutrality rules unless Congress explicitly instructs the FCC to take such action.
The practical problem is that any resolution that the House passes will have to clear the Senate, and would be vetoed by President Obama. House Republicans are on a quite a destructive roll. They are in the process of shutting down Homeland Security unless John Boehner decides to cave and pass a clean funding bill. The House has no chance of overturning President Obama’s immigration executive orders, and they face roughly the same odds on blocking the FCC’s new net neutrality rules.
The House majority has become a pit of anti-Obama conspiracy theories, and the Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee are already hard at work trying to turn the FCC’s action into an Obama takeover of the internet. The fact that Republicans are advocating the exact opposite of an open internet should not be lost on anyone. The attempt to convert net neutrality into “Obamanet” is straight out the same playbook that labeled the Affordable Care Act an Obama takeover of healthcare, and the auto bailout as “Obama Motors.”
Republicans are doing what they do best. They are trying to take the democracy out of the internet and sell it to corporations. The internet is a relatively pure form of free market principles. Their effort to block net neutrality demonstrates that instead of liberty House Republicans are most interested in selling freedom to corporate oligarchs.