Despite Claiming To Want To Negotiate A Net Neutrality 'Compromise,' Many Republicans Rush In To Kill New Rules

from the because-of-course dept

It’s getting rather ridiculous to have to keep repeating it at this point, but it’s fairly ridiculous that net neutrality/open internet is a partisan issue at all. The public overwhelmingly supports net neutrality, no matter which party they’re associated with. It’s only the politicians who think this is a red team vs. blue team issue. But, for whatever reason (and much of it appears to do with campaign fundraising), net neutrality has become partisan, with Republicans “against” it and Democrats “for” it. So, with the rules now officially in the Federal Register, not only have the lawsuits begun, but so has the Republican wrangling in Congress to try to kill the laws.

Specifically, Rep. Doug Collins has teamed up with a bunch of his Republican colleagues to put forth a “Resolution of Disapproval” to block the FCC’s new rules from taking effect. This is a totally pointless move, as it would need President Obama to sign it — something he wouldn’t do. As some are quickly pointing out, this seems to go against the earlier claims from House Republicans that they really do “support net neutrality” with a flimsy bill that pretends to do that, while really undermining the FCC.

But the real ridiculousness is in the claims made by Collins about this new bill, which don’t make any sense at all:

Collins said his resolution would be the quickest way to stop heavy-handed agency regulations that would slow Internet speeds, increase consumer prices and hamper infrastructure development, especially in his Northeast Georgia district. ?Resources that could go to broadband deployment will go to federal taxes and fees,? he said. ?We?ll all be paying more for less.?

Except, none of that is true. Nothing in the FCC ‘s new rules will slow down speeds (quite the reverse from what we’ve seen, actually), and none of it will lead to new taxes.

Collins underscored that small Internet providers will be unable to compete in a shrunken marketplace, due to the FCC?s reclassification of broadband as a public utility. ?The agency is stretching old definitions to fit its regulatory agenda,? he explained. ?Only businesses with the greatest resources will survive Washington, D.C.?s latest bureaucratic expansion into a growing and dynamic industry, particularly mobile broadband.?

If that were true, then why are small ISPs like Sonic cheering on the rules, saying that they’re only a burden if you’re trying to do something bad? There are conversations to be had about the best way to encourage more internet access — but unfortunately it’s all been destroyed by ridiculous partisan politics. If Collins wants to get the support of big funders, rather than the American public (who, Republican or Democrat, have overwhelmingly spoken out in favor of net neutrality), I guess that’s one strategy. But it seems like a risky long term bet.

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Comments on “Despite Claiming To Want To Negotiate A Net Neutrality 'Compromise,' Many Republicans Rush In To Kill New Rules”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Wicker Lies to Constituents

It seems all Republicans opposed to this have decided to just flat out lie, here is an E-mail that was sent by Wicker to his constituents in which he lies through his teeth regarding net neutrality:

Wicker Challenges Internet Rules, White House Overreach
FCC Decision Joins Litany of Excessive Bureaucratic Actions Threatening Jobs, Innovation

Costly regulations often make news headlines when related to Obamacare and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – two major examples of onerous bureaucratic overreach. However, the power grabs do not stop there, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently demonstrated. Late last month, the independent agency ruled that the Internet should be treated like a public utility, laying the groundwork for widespread federal regulation.

Forcing Consumers to Pay the Price

The FCC’s 400-page ruling follows public pressure from the Obama Administration to take a heavy-handed and unnecessary approach toward Internet service. The Internet has flourished for years with minimal government interference. Now, the so-called “net neutrality” rules would apply outdated regulation – originally designed for telephone monopolies – to 21st-century cyberspace. Many fear that the controversial move could severely discourage innovation and investment, which have long energized the tech economy. Even Democrats appointed to the commission raised concerns with the ruling’s process.

I anticipate that the FCC’s actions will be challenged in court, involving years and years of litigation and uncertainty for job creators and innovators. A better response might be a bipartisan legislative solution involving a set of broad guidelines and a “light touch” regulatory approach. This would help consumers avoid unnecessary regulations, taxes, and fees. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, I will remain actively involved in the FCC’s oversight.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wicker anticipates that the FCC’s new rules will be challenged in court? Well duh. That was a foregone conclusion.

My large question in my mind is why we have so many bought and paid for politicians? I anticipate as long as they stay bought we will continue to have such attempts at laws being made to continue. In other news, the sky is blue, grass is green.

justme says:

Never really understood. .

If a member of congress is suppose to represent the interest of the citizen of that state, why haven’t we limited contribution’s to only resident/companies of that state.

How is it ever in the best interest of the residents of Kansas to have their congressman getting 75% of his funding from millionaires in New York??

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Republicans in Congress don't care

They are well paid by the cable and wireless companies to make sure that government agencies such as the FCC and FTC are rendered powerless. They don’t care what it will cost their constituents and the rest of the American public! I think there should be a law that no representative can vote for or against a law that comes under the influence of any organization they took more than $5 from in any form (funds or favors).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's more than net neutrality

You don’t have to take anybody elses word besides the telcos and the cable companies.. You can choose to read the net neutrality rules yourself before calling others idiots.

They aren’t prefect but they are better than what the duopolists want. “Fast lanes” are contrary to all the principles the internet was founded on.. Rather than call us reactionary idiots.. Hear what the man credited with designing the world wide web has to say about net neutrality:

Unless of course you also believe Sir Tim Berners-Lee to be another “reactionary idiot”..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's more than net neutrality

You think those of us who actually know how the internet works are reactionary idiots? I suppose you also feel your mechanic is ill equipped to service your car and that your doctor can’t tell the difference between your pinky finger and big toe, right?

Seems the only reactionary idiot around here is you Tyson.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: net neutrality

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that net neutrality is just the government regulating the Internet (it’s not, by the way.)

Better that than letting the monopolists run rampant as they do now. Considering that the Internet is important to global functioning, better that it be regulated like a utility than left in the hands of the monopolists, who care more about a paycheck today than the future of their country, and perhaps the entire world.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

I suspect that everyone in the GOP party depends on xenophobes...

…and remote-issue values-voters. Which is to say as long as they attack abortion clinics and suppress civil rights they’re given total license by their constituents to do whatever they want.

Though both sides are bought and paid for by monied interests, often the same monied interests, so the notion that elections matter has long since dwindled.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I suspect that everyone in the GOP party depends on xenophobes...

Elections dont matter?
I’ve heard and read this many times and still have not seen any rational for its existence. I assume this is simply sour grapes without any data to support it, otherwise I would have found some scrap of evidence, some remnant of reason ….

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Elections don't matter.

~~ Find me a place where I can vote to reform the police state.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to terminate the war on drugs.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to terminate the war on terror.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to terminate our continuing extrajudicial detainment and torture program.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to terminate the mass surveillance program that tracks US dick-pics wherever they go.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to reform the voting system, to change elections from first-past-the-post, and campaign restrictions to prevent monied interests from controlling how our alleged representatives behave in office.
~~ Find me a place where I can vote to reform the Department of Justice so that the testimony of police officers is not considered veritas by judges who seem bent merely to fill our jail cells with innocent civilians, presuming guilt upon suspicion.

Sure voting may change whether or not pot is legal or gays can marry or women can get paid a decent wage, but given that the agents of the government can shoot a pot-smoker or a gay or a woman with complete impunity, that really doesn’t matter much now, does it.

Elections don’t matter. Not at the magnitude of the mass reforms that need to be made to save the country.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Elections don't matter.

I think elections matter. Not as much as they should, but how people vote does affect how the government operates. That elections won’t change the things on your list doesn’t mean that elections don’t change anything at all.

This is why I say that voting is necessary but insufficient.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Before voting matters again, we need to fix the list.

I think the things on my list are by magnitudes more important than the hot issues used to fuel contention in US campaigns.

And I think the issues on my list trump other issues in that they directly challenge the ability of the people to exert their will on the state.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Before voting matters again, we need to fix the list.

If you want elections to make a difference, you need to persuade enough people to vote the same way, whatever system is in place.

We need the numbers.

Talk to people, influence people, convince people. That is when elections will make a difference. Until then, you’re right, they won’t.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 That doesn't change the uselessness of voting.

The fact that state-rotting issues are not even on the table for reform or even challenge makes voting a trivial issue.

It’s like California going after those who overwater their lawns while ignoring the excessive water waste in agri-business.

It’s like House trying to balance the national budget by trimming the NEA or PBS while not even considering curbing military spending or addressing the inflated prices of big medicine.

The problems that we have that cannot be approached by voting — or for that matter, any form of legal public involvement — grossly overwhelm and override the issues that dominate elections. All the civil rights in the books don’t make a difference when the police can gun down black men in the streets at their pleasure.

(And. They. Do.)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: The problem with voting

Just as you will never meet a person that you agree with about everything, there will never be a candidate that agrees with all of your political desires (unless that candidate is you!) That’s just a general life principle — people are individuals and differ from each each other.

You will always be choosing candidates that are generally closer to your perspective that their opponents. So, in that sense, voting will always be an exercise in choosing the lesser of two evils. Just as choosing anything at all is.

That shouldn’t discourage you, though. Go ahead and choose the lesser evil, but recognize that once you’ve cast your vote, your civil responsibility has not ended — it’s just begun. You then need to work to achieve the ends you think are best, including pressuring the people who got elected, whether you voted for them or not.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: First-past-the-post exacerbates the problem.

Winner-take-all assures that people have to vote defensively, specifically to vote against the greater evil by voting for the most popular rival.

We need a system where we can choose an order of preference, so that parties other than our two have a fighting chance.

Even then, it’s going to be decades before there are enough parties to prevent monied interests from controlling the entire field. In the case of the US, without some kind of magical reform or revolution, maybe even centuries.

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