Republicans rail against FCC's new net rules

Republicans rail against FCC's new net rules

Summary: Led by Texas Republican Kay Hutchison, six Republicans sign onto a bill to cut off funding to the FCC for new regulatory activity. It's an absurdly unconstitutional move and one destined to fail.

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Unlike the previous debates on net neutrality, an FCC proposal to create two new Internet principles is not playing out in Congress, but that doesn't mean it's going to be a politics-free zone.

A day after FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposed rules to ensure application and protocol net neutrality on Internet and wireless networks, six Republicans rushed to the battle, hoping to swat away anything with the stink of "regulation."

The group, led by Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX), signed on to an amendment to an appropriations bill that would prohibit the FCC from spending money to create new "regulatory mandates." From the statement:

I am deeply concerned by the direction the FCC appears to be heading. Even during a severe downturn, America has experienced robust investment and innovation in network performance and online content and applications. For that innovation to continue, we must tread lightly when it comes to new regulations. Where there have been a handful of questionable actions in the past on the part of a few companies, the Commission and the marketplace have responded swiftly. The case has simply not been made for what amounts to a significant regulatory intervention into a vibrant marketplace. These new regulatory mandates and restrictions could stifle investment incentives.
Right. The U.S. wireless industry is the very definition of innovation and openness. The amendment is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to assert Congressional control of an executive function. They try to get around this by controlling "expenditures," and I certainly don't know the Supreme Court holdings on such approaches, but it seems to me that controlling purse strings is tantamount to controlling rulemaking. In other words, it's a bunch of hot air, which may or may not cause Genachowski to troop on down to Capitol Hill and make his case, but in any case, the FCC rulemaking will move forward, the three Democrats will approve the new rules and AT&T and Comcast and Verizon will just have to live a playing field that actually encourages innovation. They'll also have to live with the fact that the new rules will open the doors for Google to compete with them on content, applications and services.

Topics: Government US, Emerging Tech, Government

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72 comments
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  • How They Roll

    This is just how the GOP rolls. When Bill Clinton left office we were
    number one or two in broadband. Now we're down around 17 behind
    some Eastern European countries. The GOP keeps saying they're about
    competition, but they keep passing bills to stifle real competition. Sort
    of like the Telecom Act of 1996 which Republicans claimed would
    foster competition when it did exactly the opposite. It helped larger
    companies gobble up smaller ones and reduced competition and help
    to solidify the monopolistic nature of the big telecoms who, with this
    act in their pocket were free to keep bandwidth low and prices high.
    They had no incentive to do otherwise because the GOP is in their
    pocket too.

    The GOP has done more to damage this economy and this nation than
    all the terrorists in every Islamic state ever did, but that's just how
    they roll. Their touchstone is power, not people.

    JoeL
    Atlanta
    joeldm
    • Poor Joe From Atlanta

      Poor Joe has to listen to everything wing nut Jimmy Carter has to utter (as though anyone listens to "the worst President in our lifetime").
      I am sure the people of Georgia are proud of their one term President (unlike Algore in TN) who couldn't even get the Electoral votes in his OWN home state).
      <<<The GOP has done more to damage this economy and this nation than
      all the terrorists in every Islamic state ever did.>>>
      How many people has the GOP killed at one time?
      I guess you didn't have anything in the stock market after 9-11?
      If not for GWB you have no idea how many more terrorist attacks would have occurred.
      Meat45
      • Worst U.S. president...

        Come on, the worst U.S. president is George W Bush, by a long shot. In fact, he has no competition, he has secured this title in the annals of history forever. An ex-alcoholic, low IQ, uneducated, dumb, new born Christian, ignorant, lazy, uninformed ...please feel free to add more adjectives

        A few quotes:

        "I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep on the soil of a friend."?on the prospect of visiting Denmark, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005

        "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."?U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

        There's an old saying in Tennessee?I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee?that says, fool me once, shame on?shame on you. Fool me?you can't get fooled again."?Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
        prof123
        • Don't forget

          Bush had higher SATs than Kerry. You bloviate and fill your tirade with emotions, not facts. I don't want to defend him. As a Libertarian, there are plenty of things he did that I don't support. In fact, many of them are the same things that Obama has continued to do. Obama's defense has been, "George Bush did the same thing." Do two wrongs make a right?

          As far as Carter is concerned, don't forget that he was far more religious than Bush. He also led the country into a financial crisis that far exceeds what Bush did to us with the bailout last fall but close to what Obama has done in just seven months.
          MadWhiteHatter
          • Worst president...

            Jimmy Carter didn't invade the wrong country...
            He was and is a genuinly religous man, which I respect. It shows in his compassion towards the poor, building houses, etc. GWB, on the other hand, was an incompetent leader, i.e. Hurricane Katrina, turned the biggest surplus into a deficit, and on and on...
            prof123
          • Carter, without a doubt, was the worst president ever...

            <i>Worst president...
            Jimmy Carter didn't invade the wrong country...</i>

            That's not how you judge a president's record, especially when he had completely different circumstances and different world issues to deal with.

            However, Carter was the president who created the atmosphere in Iran which allowed the diabolical Ayatollahs to move into power in Iran. Most of the current problems we have in the middle east currently, can be traced back to Carter's idiotic policies in that part of the world. And, I voted for him back then, but came to regret it almost as soon as he took office.

            <i>He was and is a genuinly religous man,</i>

            So are the Ayatollahs. What's your point? Oftentimes, religion gets in the way of good or smart policy.

            <i> which I respect.</i>

            Why respect someone just because he or she is deeply religious? Respect is gained from doing the right thing and in the case of Carter, he never earned the respect of the majority of the American people. He was the worst president ever and still holds that distinction. However, Obama is quickly gaining on Carter. In fact, Obama may have overtaken Carter by now.

            <i> It shows in his compassion towards the poor, building houses, etc</i>

            Okay, so he probably should've gone in a different direction with his life rather than becoming a burden to the whole country by running for president and winning. We would all have been much better off if he had just started his own construction company and we had never heard of him after that.

            <i>. GWB, on the other hand, was an incompetent leader,</i>

            He was the right leader at the right time. History will eventually come to realize how important he really was to the country in its most important time of need. He did the right things back then and the whole country rallied behind him. It's only when the democrats realized that with a very popular republican president that they would not stand much of a chance in future elections. So they set forth in trying to demonize anything and everything he did from that point on, even the democrats themselves voted to have the president and our military go into Iraq. You not only have a very short memory but you also have a memory corrupted by your politics and your ideology.

            <i> i.e. Hurricane Katrina,</i>

            Katrina was a natural disaster and no matter how Bush performed, the democrats would've found fault with whatever he did in order to try to demonize him and the republicans. The democrats were only looking to politicize the disaster rather than working to help the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. The biggest reasons why Katrina turned out to be worse than it should've been was due to the lack of leadership in New Orleans and in the State of Louisiana. The people in charge were very clueless about how to evacuate the people and how to get them to shelters. That wasn't the direct responsibility of Bush, it was the democrats in charge who bungled the disaster and recovery. And the democrats knew quite well where the blame belonged and they knew that they needed to preemptively turn the blame elsewhere and to the president. But, most people who saw the school buses and the breached levies know that the blame lies elsewhere and not with the president. You yourself should be ashamed of yourself for not realizing what the truth of the situation really was.

            <i>turned the biggest surplus into a deficit,</i>

            Pure garbage!

            When Bush came into office, he inherited a country in recession, thanks to Clinton and his administration.

            Furthermore, the surplus of which you speak was not really there. When country is in recession, there is no surplus. And the surplus of which Clinton and the democrats like to speak of came as a result of some creative bookkeeping. But, during Clinton's presidency, the federal debt grew by at least 25% and that was a time of no real wars, whereas Bush had two regional wars and a world-wide anti-terrorist war to contend with. In addition, Clinton and the democrats did absolutely nothing to reduce the federal deficit. What was done to reduce the deficit was the republican's programs to reduce the deficit, and that was the "Balanced Budget Amendment" which came out of the republican congress after 1995. In fact, before 1996, the federal deficit grew every year that Clinton was in office, and so did the federal debt. It was the "Balanced Budget Amendment" from the republicans which forced Clinton to control spending, and it was also the Welfare program reforms, again from the republican congress, which also helped to bring down government expenditures. And in fact, for both of those programs, Clinton was essentially dragged "kicking and screaming" to the signature table. He fought against all of those reforms which eventually helped bring down the deficits during his last term in office. So, though Clinton and his cohorts like to take credit for "balancing the budget", they deserve no credit at all for it. But, like it's said, "if it happened during his administration, he'll get the credit for it". But, he deserved no credit at all.

            <i> and on and on...</I>.

            And on and on we continue to reap the benefits for what Bush did which kept the country, and your own butt, from being harmed after 9/11. Keeping the country safe is the number one responsibility of the president. And Bush did that better than anyone expected, and far better than the democrats want to admit.

            In the final analysis, it's you that needs to wake up and confront the realities of the world around you and realize that the way you think about the country and the world is fed to you by those who don't want you to find out the truth. I'm talking about the democrats, aka the socialists, who are now in charge in Washington and elsewhere. A party with the likes of Michael Moore in its membership, and one with Obama at the helm, is not good for the country or the world.
            adornoe
        • Don't worry, Obama will outBush Bush

          As much crap as Bush had dished he didn't crash US Dollar, which will happen under Obama / Bernanke the way his administration piles up debt after debt, deficit after deficit. You think the current 9.7% unemployment is bad? Wait until Dollar crashes, which will quickly send it to 20%, 30%, 40% and all the way up. Then you will know who's the worst president ever.
          LBiege
          • Debt and the Dollar

            Historically, Democratic presidents and congesses has lowered the deficit(as a proportion of the GDP) more than raised it. The opposite is true of republicans. It remains to be seen how Obama will do in this respect.

            And how soon we forget that GWB did crash the dollar. He just took everything else with it so it didn't seem so bad.
            paulblaze
          • I assume you have some ....

            .... facts to support this claim. Surely you are not just blowing smoke!
            ShadeTree
          • Facts

            Raw Data is here:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

            For some interpretations of this data take a look at this blog post plus the comments. http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/03/fiscal-responsibility-party-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html
            paulblaze
          • The problem is that since ....

            ... it is Congress and not the executive branch that control the purse string. The chart and the conclusion is irrelevant. Try plotting the data in comparison to who controlled the House and the Senate and you will see quite a different picture.
            ShadeTree
          • Are we talking about the same history?

            Wasn't it Lyndon Johnson's "guns & butter" madness that caused the Dollar crash in 1971 and the struggle throughout the 70's? I didn't know he's a republican.

            Well, looks like history will repeat itself since you guys still haven't learned to be fiscally responsible while doing the partisan bickering. You refuse to learn it the easy way, you'll get it the hard way and get ready for the coming mass banana republic inflation.
            LBiege
          • Dollar and GWB

            We weren't talking about the dollar and LBJ, we were talking about the dollar and GWB http://futures.tradingcharts.com/chart/US/M

            I don't know who "you guys" is referring to. I could believe it's congress in general and agree there could be better fiscal responsibility all around. However, it would be flat out wrong to say republican politicians are more fiscally responsible than democratic politicians.
            paulblaze
          • Worst president...

            1. The bailout started with Bush - $700B
            2. The regulators were sleeping at the switch for 8 years, allowing banks and characters like Madoff to go off the deep end.
            3. To hedge against inflation and dollar devaluation - buy gold.
            prof123
          • Let's dig deeper

            "1. The bailout started with Bush - $700B"

            A bill Obama voted 'yes' on as a senator b4 winning the election.

            "2. The regulators were sleeping at the switch for 8 years, allowing banks and characters like Madoff to go off the deep end."

            The same incompetent regulators that let the crap happen under their nose are either still in charge (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and so on) or promoted (Geither) under Obama's administration

            "3. To hedge against inflation and dollar devaluation - buy gold. "

            You've got that correct, dude. Watch Gold blowing past 2000 and sky rocketing.
            LBiege
          • Woirst president...

            "A bill Obama voted 'yes' on as a senator b4 winning the election"

            Many people voted YES, it was the right thing to do at the time, otherwise, we would be much worse right now.

            "The same incompetent regulators that let the crap happen under their nose are either still in charge (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and so on) or promoted (Geither) under Obama's administration"

            The most incompetent people are gone - George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld... these are the geniuses who invaded the wrong country, ignoring experts who told them otherwise.


            prof123
          • huh?

            "it was the right thing to do at the time"

            Wait, wait, wait, I'm not following you here. If it's a right thing to do then why did you blame Bush for that? Looks like if it's Bush doing it, it's wrong. But immediately after you realized Obama was in it too, you claimed it a right thing. Hmmm, that was fast, dude.

            "The most incompetent people are gone - George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld..."

            So Obama keeping or promoting the rest bozos that are not a whole lot better is acceptable? HAHAHA, you Obama sheep are hilarious.
            LBiege
          • keep digging

            [b]The same incompetent regulators that let the crap happen under their nose are either still in charge (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and so on) or promoted (Geither) under Obama's administration[/b]

            Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are CONGRESSMEN. Do you even understand the difference between regulators and congress? Congress writes the laws, the EXECUTIVE branch (read: BUSH AND HIS CRONIES) enforce them.

            Furthermore, how could these guys get ANYTHING done with republicans blocking them every step of the way? Furthermore, Republicans had control of the congress until January 2007. They EASILY could have sidestepped these guys and done something about the decline. To claim they are responsible is simply IGNORANT at best, and just STUPID at worst. In fact, I would love to hear your counterclaim.

            And finally: remember that these guys represent their constituents, and in that they have made their constituents happy. For example, look at Dodd: represents Conneticut-- an affluent part of CN that is largely constituted by those working in finance. If his constituents get happy, he gets re-elected, everyone else's opinions be damned. Understand? So while you and all the other youtube video posting conservatives cry foul (the same ones pushing a big Texas-big oil agenda under Tom Delay's watch), just remember that it is the voters who choose their reps, and apparently they are quite happy with these jokesters.

            Now go back to 5th grade and learn Civics again.

            [b]A bill Obama voted 'yes' on as a senator b4 winning the election.[/b]

            And how did McCain (you know, that two-time presidential loser), vote for it? And all the republicans in Congress?

            Thought so.
            kckn4fun
    • How they Roll

      Joel,
      You are right. And we can thank Michael Powell, then chairman of the FCC, for destroying competition in media ownership. In fact the 1996 legislation was explicitly intended to stifle competition from the start. The idea was that media conglomerates could more "efficiently" deliver content to consumers if they owned lots and lots of media outlets. What was sold to the public as "more choice for consumers" has in fact become "less competition, more profit for big companies". Result, the US has fewer substantial news sources than ever in the modern (cable) age. Thanks for selling us out Michael Powell.
      tomspach@...
    • GOP is right

      This regulation is all BULL. It's like saying we need to prop Detroit up so that they can compete. Well the reality is they don't deserve to run a business if they have to rely on government intervention. If Google cannot come up w/ its own phone and therefore has to rely on Apple's approval to get their apps in iPhone, then SUCK IT UP. Don't go whining in front of FCC. It's loser tactics.
      LBiege