Democratic Senators move to block GOP from dismantling net neutrality rules

Four Democratic Senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging them to quash the GOP-led House Resolution to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules with either the appropriations process or the Congressional Review Act.

The letter, drafted by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Al Franken (D-MN), says, "Such action aims to strip the FCC of its legal authority over modern communications and hand control of the Internet over to the owners of the wires that deliver information and services over them."

"Unfortunately, the House has decided that it knows better what is good for the Internet than the people who use, fund, and work on it," the missive said. "They claim to stand for freedom. But the only freedom they are providing for is the freedom of telephone and cable companies to determine the future of the Internet, where you can go on it, what you can attach to it, and which services will win or lose on it."

This letter continues the highly polarized battle over Net neutrality that has bounced between the two political parties in Congress for years. Just two years ago in 2009 Republicans in the Senate criticized the still-unfinished Open Internet Order, saying "it is harmful for the Commission to impose industry-wide rules based upon speculation about what may occur in the future," and pushed to prevent FCC funding by tacking an amendment to a spending bill from the Department of the Interior. This action was subsequently withdrawn by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

Both the House and the Senate have to vote on the current resolutions, but due to this Democratic opposition, it is not expected to clear the Senate.

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