House Republicans have just taken the first step toward overturning the FCC’s controversial net neutrality rules.
On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted 15-8 to pass a resolution that nullifies the FCC rules. The resolution now goes before the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where Republicans undoubtedly have the numbers to approve it. The resolution is expected to come to the House floor in the next few weeks.
Republicans have been relentless in their quest to kill the FCC's net neutrality rules. There is also a provision in the recently passed House budget bill that would prevent the FCC from using any of the funding appropriated for it in the legislation to implement the rules.
"The FCC is an agency that has exceeded its authority," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the subcommittee. "We have an open and thriving Internet thanks to our historical hands-off approach. The Internet works pretty well; it's the government that doesn't."
The subcommittee’s Democrats pulled out all the procedural stops and powers of persuasion to try and protect the FCC's rules. Last week, they convinced Republicans to delay a scheduled vote on the resolution until after a hearing that was held Wednesday.
In a brief press conference with reporters, Walden said he tried to be fair. "I've tried to make it a different process every step of the way," he said. "We postponed the markup; we had a hearing; they even have more witnesses on the panel than the majority."