Republican leaders go straight to the top to protest internet regs


House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) have fired off a letter to President Barack Obama protesting the creative regulatory moves by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to enforce the concept of network neutrality.

Genachowski will be amply aware that he is being tattled on, since he also received a copy of the letter.

The Republicans feel that the FCC’s move will be a job stifler. Asking that the plan be reconsidered, they wrote, “…implementation of such a plan will needlessly inhibit the creation of American private sector jobs, limit economic freedom and innovation, and open the door to internet taxation.” Citing the near-10% unemployment rate, they said the move “could hardly come at a worse time for our nation’s economy…”

They call Genachowski’s plan a “government takeover of yet another sector of our economy,” and suggest that the FCC Chair “has chosen a politically-motivated end-run around both the courts and the Congress to implement his network neutrality regulations.”

Boehner and Cantor may not like Genachowski’s plan, and their colleague Cliff Stearns (R-FL) has introduced a bill in an attempt to bring it to a halt, but key Democratic Committee Chairs Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) support the policy. Rockefeller has promised to introduce legislation if necessary to allow the FCC to remain as a watchdog over the internet.

RBR-TVBR observation: Whenever we have heard Obama discuss network neutrality, he has been in favor of enforcing it, so the letter probably isn’t going to amount to much, nor will the Stearns bill likely go anywhere. But that’s how it works in Washington. Majority legislators write the laws, majority regulators write the rules, and members of the minority write letters.