Protecting Consumers from Democrat Plans to Overregulate the Internet
‘Last year, under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC sought to rectify this mistake and restore the rules that helped the Internet flourish, while still protecting consumers from abuses. The resolution Democrats are putting forward today would undo that progress. It would reimpose heavy-handed, Depression-era rules on the most vibrant, fast-growing sectors of our economy. It is wrong on the merits. And it’s also the wrong way to go about this process.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Net Neutrality and the resolution put forth by Democrats to overregulate the internet:
“Over the last twenty years, the internet has yielded progress that was the stuff of science fiction just a generation ago. In so many ways, it has spawned a new economy and fostered new connections -- across the country and the world. In large part, these successes owe to a bipartisan consensus that Washington D.C. should be largely ‘hands-off.’ But of course, like every exciting new frontier of the economy, the internet attracted attention from the crowd that prefers to regulate first and ask questions later.
“In 2015, President Obama’s FCC set out to fix what wasn’t broken. It imposed regulations designed for Depression-era telephones on new technologies that fit in our pockets. So much for the light-touch approach that helped the early internet grow. Last year, under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC sought to rectify this mistake and restore the rules that helped the Internet flourish, while still protecting consumers from abuses.
“The resolution Democrats are putting forward today would undo that progress. It would reimpose heavy-handed, Depression-era rules on the most vibrant, fast-growing sectors of our economy. It is wrong on the merits. And it’s also the wrong way to go about this process.
“The CRA is useful when it lets elected representatives reign in regulatory overreach by unelected bureaucrats. But this resolution doesn’t seek to reign in overregulation. It seeks to re-impose it. What’s worse, by using the CRA mechanism, the Democrats seek to make the 2015 rules permanent going forward. The CRA would handicap this FCC or a future FCC’s ability to revise the rules, even if revisions were widely seen as necessary. There is a better way to proceed. It’s called bipartisan legislation.
“Senator Thune has reached out to the Democrats on the Committee to draft an internet “rules of the road” for the 21st Century. A set of rules that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation at every turn. Already, multiple Democratic colleagues have drawn the same conclusions with regard to preemptive overcorrection by the FCC. The senior senator from Florida and the junior senator from Hawaii, for example, have both expressed a desire to collaborate on bipartisan legislation.
“But Democrats have already made clear that the resolution today is about the elections in November - they know they won’t ultimately be successful, but they want to campaign on their desire to add new regulations to the internet. This resolution takes us in the wrong direction. We should reject it.”
Related Issues: Regulations, FCC, Congressional Review Act