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House Subcommittee Delays ‘Net Neutrality’ Disapproval Vote

A legislative hearing will examine H.J. Res. 37.

A House subcommittee delayed a March 2 vote on a proposed “joint resolution” designed to derail the requirements of the controversial “Open Internet” rules—better known as “net neutrality”—in favor of another hearing on the rules, which is scheduled for March 9.

A brief statement by the House communications and technology subcommittee—headed by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.,—says the subcommittee “will hold a second hearing on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to implement controversial Internet rules. The legislative hearing will examine H.J. Res. 37, a Resolution of Disapproval that reverses the FCC’s net neutrality rules.”

The FCC’s Open Internet regulations were approved by in a split vote of the commissioners on Dec. 21 2010. At the time of the vote, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the regulation will prohibit Internet providers from blocking access to legal websites, and will seek to strike a balance between the interests of Internet service providers, content companies and consumers. Voting with Genachowski for the regulation was the FCC’s other Democratic appointees, Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn. Voting against the regulation were Republican appointees, Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker.

The proposed joint resolution—Disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to regulation the Internet and broadband industry practices (H.J. Res. 37)—was introduced on Feb. 16. It says:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives…that Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices, and such rule shall have no force or effect.”

Walden has been leading the assault on the FCC regulation getting an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that is needed to fund the federal government that would prevent the FCC from using its funding to implement the regulation.

The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on March 9.