Senate Should Come Together To Protect The Internet, Not Outsource Regulation

Senate Democrats this week filed for a Congressional Review Act review of the Federal Communications Commission’s recent order that freed the technology industry from arcane regulations that hampered innovation and investment. This CRA would be a dereliction of the Senate’s duty to legislate and should be rejected.

The FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order unwound archaic Title II regulations for the internet industry. Title II is a telecommunications industry classification originally designed in 1934 for monopoly telephone service and is inappropriate to regulate the modern internet economy.

Democrats claim that Title II regulations will protect the principles of net neutrality. This is false. Title II does not offer adequate protections for net neutrality, and hurts America’s investment in its technology sector, threatening the country’s position as leader of the high-tech world. What Congress needs to do is come together on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation that protects net neutrality rather than outsource regulation to the FCC, which is not equipped to handle the issue.

Democrats have filed for the CRA with unfortunate timing, as well. The Senate is currently one member short as Sen. John McCain recovers his full health. The issue of net neutrality is too important to decide with any absences. Sen. McCain has been passionate about this particular issue in the past, and it would be compassionate for Senate Democrats to allow him to cast a key vote on this important issue.

Senate Democrats’ CRA is a bad idea and should be rejected. There is bipartisan agreement that Congress should come together to pass legislation that can actually protect the principles of net neutrality without relying on heavy-handed and outdated regulations. That should be done - and it should be done with a chamber full of members whose passionate views can shape the legislation for the better.