As promised, Republicans in both the House and Senate introduced legislation Wednesday aimed at blocking the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules.
In the House, Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., offered a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers a limited amount of time to try to block agency rules like the FCC's net neutrality order from going into effect. An identical measure was introduced in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Commerce ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
The resolutions were introduced on the same day that all five FCC members appeared before Walden's subcommittee to defend their party-line vote in December approving the rules, which are aimed at barring broadband providers from discriminating against Internet content, applications or services.
"We held a hearing today in which we gave the commissioners of the FCC one more opportunity to provide sufficient evidence of a crisis that warrants government intervention," Upton said in a statement. "They failed. One of the greatest threats to job creation in our current economy is runaway regulation that is all cost and no benefit. The controversial Internet regulations stifle innovation, investment, and jobs."
While the resolution only requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate, it must still be signed by the president to go into effect. President Obama has voiced support for the FCC's net neutrality order.