The White House has threatened to veto Republican-sponsored legislation that would overturn the net neutrality rules the FCC passed last December.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S.J. Resolution 6[PDF], “Disapproval of Federal Communications Commission Rule Regulating the Internet and Broadband Industry Practices”, sometime on Thursday. The resolution, if it were to pass both houses, would begin a process that could overturn the decision of the FCC. The U.S. House of Representatives rejected the FCC’s net neutrality rules.
“Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery,” the White House said in its veto threat. “It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.”
The FCC rules prevent broadband providers from blocking access to specific websites.
The rules are hazier when it comes to wireless providers. Supporters, such as Obama and the White House, believe that some regulations are necessary to stop ISPs such as Comcast from throttling or blocking content. Opponents, such as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R.-Texas), one of the sponsors of the bill, argue that the net neutrality regulations would over-regulate the Internet, stifle the economy and set a bad precedent.
“The Internet and technology have produced more jobs in this country than just about any other sector,” Hutchison said on Tuesday. “It has been the cradle of innovation, it does not have a problem and it does not need fixing.”
UPDATE: the bill was defeated in the Senate:
As expected, the Senate defeated a resolution Thursday that would have disapproved of the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality (a.k.a. “open Internet”) rules, which are due to go into effect Thursday. The vote was divided along party lines, with 50 Democrats and two independents aligned with the party voting against the resolution and 46 Republicans voting for it. (One senator from each party missed the vote.)