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Palmer Critical of FCC’s “Net Neutrality” Order

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, March 2, US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) released a statement in which he strongly disagrees with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “net neutrality” order and criticizes the rules as both an unnecessary and beyond the scope of power prescribed to the FCC by Congress.

Congressman Palmer said in a written statement, “The FCC’s ‘net neutrality’ erodes the authority of Congress. The FCC, an independent federal agency, does not have the authority to write laws, but in a 3-2 ruling has done just that. Moreover, as FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai pointed out in his dissenting statement, this order opens the door to taxing the internet, is likely to increase rates, and was previously rejected by the FCC, only to have it resurrected at the behest of the White House. Finally, by putting internet content under the thumb of federal bureaucrats, this ruling threatens free speech. This ruling cannot be allowed to stand.”

Rep. Palmer continued, “The internet is one of the great success stories of free enterprise. It has grown rapidly in the past two decades precisely because it is unfettered by intrusive regulations. Free markets have ensured low prices for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. The internet will not be made ‘more free’ through government intrusion, particularly as we already have laws to stop the hypothetical anti-competitive practices that this order is supposedly intended to fix.”

The conservative Alabama Congressman continued, “That unelected FCC Commissioners are using a 1930’s law written to regulate an entirely different industry to justify this order demonstrates that their order is purely political. Any change in the law requires action from Congress, not federal bureaucrats.” 

Rep. Palmer concluded, “Commissioner Pai said it best in his dissent, when he said, ‘because this Order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have, I dissent.’ I could not have put it better.”

Many Republicans agreed with Rep. Palmer and Commissioner Pai.

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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in his own statement, “It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that the Obama administration continues to disregard the people’s will and push for more mandates on our economy. An open, vibrant Internet is essential to a growing economy, and net neutrality is a textbook example of the kind of Washington regulations that destroy innovation and entrepreneurship. Federal bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating the Internet – not now, not ever. In the new Congress, Republicans will continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme to regulate the Internet, and we’ll work to encourage private-sector job creation, starting with many of the House-passed jobs bills that the outgoing Senate majority ignored.”

Alabama Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds recently wrote, “These rules, issued under the misnomer of “net neutrality,” will allow the government to regulate and prioritize content, rather than internet users and the free market. What could possibly go wrong when the federal government controls the internet? These rules will surely have the effect of discouraging investment and lead to taxes on emails, video chats, data usage and video streaming. Rand Paul described the internet as “the single greatest catalyst in history for individual liberty and free markets,” and now Obama and the FCC want to restrict both.”

Many of the powerful corporations whose business models are most affected by these 300 pages of new rules are suing to block the takeover of internet regulation by the FCC.

Congressman Gary Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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