House Republicans Warn FCC: Back Off on Net Neutrality

GOP members of the Energy and Commerce Commission say news rules would be “a mistake”

House Republicans hit back Friday at rumors that the Federal Communications Commission plans to introduce net neutrality rules before Christmas. 

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has voiced his support for regulations that would force Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Nineteen members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas), called the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to vote on network neutrality “a mistake.”

“We have much we can do together on matters such as spectrum and universal service reform that will have a significant positive impact on the economy,” the lawmakers wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Reigniting the network neutrality debate will only distract us from that work and further jeopardize investment, innovation, and jobs. We ask you not to circulate such an order.”

The signatories included most of the likely candidates to grab the gavel of the committee when Republicans regain control of the house. Among the names warning the FCC chair to back off were Rep. Fred Upton (R, MI), John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.). 

Genachowski still hasn't announced what issues the agency will address at its December meeting, and whether it will take up net neutrality.