By Alexia Tsotsis
photo © 2007 Francisco Daum | more info (via: Wylio) Last December the FCC approved its “Preserving the Open Internet” regulation to entirely ban blocking of websites or web services by broadband providers, while being vague about what the new restrictions held for mobile carriers like Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T).
As we wrote in December, Republicans had vowed to give the loophole-filled rules hell when the Congress turned more Republican in January, first voting to deny the Commission federal funding in February.
Today we see the fruits of their efforts again, namely the voting through of House Joint Resolution 37, a regulation that would prohibit the FCC from having any authority over ISPs and broadband, thus overturning December’s regulations.
One-half of the government wanting to revoke your power isn’t cool and I don’t want to necessarily down play the impact of a house vote but, as Wired’s Ryan Singel explains, the vote is indeed largely symbolic.
Historically, the votes for or against Net Neutrality rules have been divided down party lines, and the resolution would have to pass through the Senate to go into effect, which is unlikely as Democrats are in the majority. President Obama has also said he would veto any legislation reversing the rules if passed by Congress, according to the New York Times.
Sure it could take the votes of two-thirds of the members of both Congressional houses to override a Presidential veto. But as the Senate is currently split 53:47 Democrats to Republicans, and Democrats tend to be pro-Net Neutrality, an Obama veto override seems sort of a stretch.
Supporter of the resolution and Oregon Republican representative Greg Walden told the New York Times, “Congress has not authorized the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet.” Yes, but it as of yet hasn’t yet unauthorized it either. Stay tuned.