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Senate Republicans Scrap Anti-Net Neutrality Push

Senate Republicans have stopped their push to prevent funding for the Federal Communication Commission as a protest of proposed net neutrality rules.

"While we are still generally opposed to net neutrality regulations, we have decided to hold off on the amendment because [FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski] approached us and we are beginning a dialogue," said a staff member on the committee.

An official at the FCC confirmed that Genachowski, who on Monday introduced a proposal for net neutrality rules, called Republican members who criticized his move, saying it could hurt the businesses of network operators. The call was intended to begin a conversation about the proposal that would prevent Internet service providers from blocking Web content and services.

Earlier this week, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), ranking member of Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said she would introduce an amendment to an Interior Appropriations bill that would tie up funding at the agency for new regulatory mandates. Observers said, however, that the move was unlikely to be approved in the Democrat-majority Congress.

Senators John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), David Vitter (R-La.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D. co-sponsored the amendment.

Rebecca Arbogast, head of technology policy research at Stifel Nicholas, had said the move was a standard vehicle for Congress to block what regulatory agencies were trying to achieve in the executive branch or in a regulatory agency.

"But the likelihood of it getting passed it pretty low. This is standard procedure and a time-honored tradition but the Republicans are in the minority."

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 22, 2009; 7:45 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
Previous: Authors and Publishers Ask Court to Postpone Google Books Trial | Next: FCC Chair To Face off With Wireless Industry

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Rebecca Arbogast, head of technology policy research at Stifel Nicholas, had said the move was a standard vehicle for Congress to block what regulatory agencies were trying to achieve in the executive branch or in a regulatory agency.

For those of you that don't work at an Investment Bank, the "standard vehicle" runs on standard CHF - oh, sorry, Swiss Francs.

Posted by: gannon_dick | September 22, 2009 10:12 PM

Just look at the cast of odious characters who are planning to try and block this. Same group being paid for by the insurance companies trying to block health insurance. Any doubt who is paying them this time? Do you really want Verizon, AOL, Comcast, or ATT to throttle your downloads from someone competitive with them? So why is this an issue? As with most things, our Congress is bought and paid for by special interests with no sense of public interest. If big corporate money opposes something, it gets blocked in Congress. The best Congress money can pay for. What a great country!

Posted by: PostBad887 | September 22, 2009 10:13 PM

Someone must have told the GOP leadership that it would be really stupid to oppose net neutrality. Perhaps they realize now that lots of small and medium sized businesses make their living on the internet.

Someone must have told them that young people who download lots of stuff might remain eternally Democrats. Screw Verizon!

Posted by: alance | September 22, 2009 10:23 PM

That's "DEMOCRATIC-majority Senate," Ms. Kang. We must be vigilant to stop the Republicans' infantile name games from creeping into mainstream usage.

Posted by: jonfromcali | September 22, 2009 11:52 PM

Net-neutrality is designed to keep ISP's from limiting business competition, and from censoring information or being able to control what information people have access to.
Allowing ISP's this kind of control is anti-free market, and fundamentally un-American.
By opposing net-neutrality, republicans show themselves to be the worst kind of hypocrites, and to simply being a blindly opposing party.
Without net=neutrality, we would be subject to the kind of restrictions on information we see in places like Iran and China.
Is this what republicans really want? After all.... it is consistent with the idea of the republican/christian taliban...

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 23, 2009 12:18 AM

Im an independant christian conservative, and Im very disaponted in the few Republican Senators and Democratic Senators who are not for net neutrality. thank god most of them in both parties are in favor of it, they figure people have the brains to filter out the trash on the internet, and belive me there is a lot of it out there and a lot of good stuff as well, but I dont want some business or government pencil pusher telling me what I can see or what info I am allowed to see or download. Thats my choice! Im going to contact the "few" Republicans and Democrats who are against net neutrality and convince them to change there mind. Net neutrality is the best way to get both sides opinion's out there for the public to chew over and make up there own minds!

Posted by: meforid750 | September 23, 2009 4:50 PM

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