Ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote on net neutrality rules Thursday, two key House Republicans are slamming FCC chairman Tom Wheeler for refusing to testify before Congress. The new rules have not been released to the public.
If passed, the new rules under consideration by the commission would allow the FCC to regulate the Internet like a public utility.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., excoriated Wheeler for his refusal to testify in a joint statement Wednesday.
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“We are deeply disappointed in Chairman Wheeler’s decision. As Chairman Wheeler pushes forward with plans to regulate with plans to regulate the Internet, he still refuses to directly answer growing concerns about how the rules were developed, how they are structured, and how they will stand up to judicial scrutiny,” Chaffetz and Upton said.
After hearing from over four million Americans on such an important topic to our economic and cultural future, it’s striking that when Congress seeks transparency, Chairman Wheeler opts against it. The last time a rule of this magnitude was voted on by the FCC, then-Senator Obama was motivated to call for transparency at the commission. We continue that call today.
Reports as late as Tuesday suggest that changes in the proposed rules are still possible, with just hours left on the clock before the commission votes.
“So long as the chairman continues to insist on secrecy, we will continue calling for more transparency and accountability at the commission. Chairman Wheeler and the FCC are not above Congress,” the chairmen added. “This fight continues as the future of the Internet is at stake.”
h/t: National Review