News Ticker

House appropriations votes to block enforcement of FCC net neutrality rules

Republicans moved forward with their efforts to cripple the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules. Using its budgeting power, the House appropriations committee voted 30-20 on a broad funding bill that contains a provision which prohibits the FCC from spending money to enforce the open internet rules until the pending court challenges are resolved.

The financial service and general government appropriations bill, which includes funding for several agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, the Security and Exchange Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, now moves to the House floor for a vote.

The FCC’s open internet rules took effect on June 12, but are being challenged by cable and telecom internet service providers in the DC circuit court of appeals, a proceeding that many believe could take months if not years to resolve.

The bill gives the FCC $73 million less than what the agency asked for, and require the FCC to publicly release the text of its proposed rules 21 days ahead of a vote.

The committee also took aim at an FCC order to end TV station joint sales agreements in an amendment from Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.). Passing with bipartisan support 38-11, the amendment would grandfather then 40 plus JSA agreements the FCC approved and had in place before the FCC voted to end JSAs.

Democrats tried to thwart passage of the FCC net neutrality measure, as well as several others, but the amendment from ranking Nita Lowey (D-NY) that would have removed what she called “veto-bait” riders never had a chance and was defeated 31-20.