Vote on Hutchison’s anti-net neutrality resolution could come next week
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) expects a Senate vote next week on her proposed resolution to knock down the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on net neutrality.
As the Texas Independent reported, Hutchison, a ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the measure in February. If successful, her resolution could prevent the current FCC regulations from taking effect, and keep the agency from adopting rules with statutory authority in the future — setting a precedent with broad implications.
During a Heritage Foundation press conference on Thursday, Hutchison argued that attempts to regulate the Internet would stifle innovation and limit competition.
“The Internet is not broken and does not need fixing,” she said. “There are some of my colleagues who actually think that we should regulate the Internet. I disagree with them, but we should have at least had a debate about it.”
The FCC rules offer a protection against discriminatory Internet practices, and ensure consumers have equal access to all sites.
While anti-net neutrality advocates like Hutchison say the regulation is detrimental to job growth and innovation, supporters argue the rules are necessary to keep the Internet free and open — basic principles that actually spur innovation and competition. The rules also help prevent major Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T from blocking certain content.
Passed in December, the FCC’s guidelines are scheduled to take effect Nov. 20. As the Daily Caller reported, a vote on Hutchison’s resolution would bring it in just ahead of that deadline.
If the resolution is sent to Pres. Obama, many predict he will veto the measure anyway, given his past support for net neutrality.