Democrats Likely to Put Up a Fight Over Net Neutrality

Internet companies and broadband providers, take note: There are bound to be some fireworks over net neutrality in the House now that Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., has been elected as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. If Republicans on the subcommittee look to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules, passed Dec. 21, Eshoo—long a supporter of the idea—is likely to put up a fight.

The Republican leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee has made net neutrality and oversight of the FCC a top priority. Subcommittee chair Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who chairs the subcommittee, has said that its first hearings in the new Congress will examine the FCC’s authority to regulate the Internet via the new net neutrality rules.

Eshoo, whose home district includes parts of Silicon Valley, including the headquarters for tech heavyweights like Google, Hewlett-Packard and Facebook, comes to the subcommittee with a strong track record in high-tech and Internet issues. Earlier this year, Eshoo was named as co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus.

Eshoo won her spot as the subcommittee’s top Democrat over Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. She is the first woman in the history of the subcommittee to land a leadership role.