Congress Preserves Net Neutrality, FCC Authority in Omnibus Spending AgreementDecember 16, 2015
Today, Congress released its proposed omnibus bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2016. This compromise proposal removes a provision that would have restricted the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to enforce its landmark net neutrality rules adopted in February 2015. Republicans included this provision in initial appropriations bills passed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees last summer. The proposal also increases FCC funding to $344 million, providing $44 million more than Fiscal Year 2015. Congress plans to vote on the compromise proposal by the end of this week.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“The compromise struck by the White House and Congressional leadership is a victory for the millions of Americans who support maintaining an Open Internet. For the past few weeks, many Americans have called, emailed, and advocated to their leaders in Congress to do the right thing and not include this harmful policy rider in this bill.
“Fortunately, Congress heard their voices. We commend the leadership in the Democratic Party, including Senator Reid, Senator Mikulski, and Leader Pelosi, who stood firm against this harmful rider. Taken together with the positive showing at the net neutrality oral arguments on December 4, this has been an important month for preserving the openness of the Internet for consumers.
“Congress created the FCC to serve as the expert agency on communications networks and to deal with technical policy issues on behalf of the public interest. The additional funding for the FCC in Fiscal Year 2016 will enable the agency to continue promoting the public interest in a time of great technical innovation and rapid transition.”