Recent Press Releases

House and Senate Republicans Warn FCC Against Regulating Internet Like a 20th Century Monopoly

Letter Comes on the Heels of President’s Net Neutrality Comments

November 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Thune (R-South Dakota) today led Republicans on their respective committees in writing to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler regarding the commission’s consideration of regulations that would impose 20th century common carrier rules on the Internet - a 21st century information service. Despite the failure of the commission’s two previous attempts to implement such rules, there remains a strong effort to advance policies that would hamper innovation, job creation, and investment in the widespread growth and expansion of the Internet.

“Recent proposals have suggested that the FCC can use its authority under Title II of the Communications Act to create legally enforceable rules to regulate Internet access. We believe this is beyond the scope of the FCC’s authority and would defy the plain reading of the statute,” wrote over three-dozen House and Senate Republicans.

They continued, “Reclassification would require the FCC to reverse nearly two decades of legally sound – and Supreme Court affirmed – reasoning that Internet access services are explicitly not Title II services. Justifying this course change is no easy task under current law. Among other harms, reclassification would threaten the jobs and investment made possible by the broadband industry, which the Communications Workers of America and the NAACP state accounted for more than $193 billion in capital investment and more than 270,000 jobs over the last three years.”

The House and Senate Republicans concluded, “Given the significant legal barriers to reclassification and the uncertainty that yet another appeal of the FCC’s rules would bring to the Internet, we strongly urge you to reject any such reclassification proposals. As you know, we are not alone in our concerns. In May, Rep. Gene Green led twenty Democratic members of the House in a letter calling on the commission to reject reclassification. We urge the commission to heed our bipartisan concerns.”

The letter was signed by all Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, including:

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD)

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)

Senate Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)

Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE)

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-TX)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)

Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA)

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)

Rep. Billy Long (R-MO)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)

Read the full letter here.