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Issa Questioned White House Involvement In Net Neutrality Rules Issa Questioned White House Involvement In Net Neutrality Rules

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Congress

Issa Questioned White House Involvement In Net Neutrality Rules

March 11, 2011

New documents show that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., questioned last year whether the White House helped write controversial net neutrality rules enacted in December.

The Federal Communications Commission released a 2009 letter sent to the agency after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled his plan to restrict Internet providers from blocking websites that use too much bandwidth, Issa asked about potential collaboration between the Obama administration and the FCC officials who drafted the proposal. The letters, as well as the FCC response, were released Thursday.

Issa argued that such collaboration could have violated disclosure rules. Issa, now chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, also wrote a letter after the regulations were approved in December.

President Obama and Genachowski both announced support for net neutrality regulations on Sept. 21, 2009, Issa observed.

"Alone, the timing of this announcement went unnoticed, but in light of the recent media reports, questions have arisen surrounding the coordination and involvement of the White House in crafting the proposed regulations," he wrote.

But in a written response to Issa in February, Genachowski said the law does not prohibit "communications between commissioners and commission and staff and members of the administration." The FCC's general counsel is "not aware of any potential violations" of the rules.

Republicans are trying to overturn the rules through legislation, as well as defund any attempts by the agency to enforce the regulations.

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