Congressional Republicans Push Back Against FCC’s “Digital Discrimination” Rule
Concerns over Government Control and Censorship Raised
Congressional Republicans are planning to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “digital discrimination” rule proposed by the Biden Administration. The rule, which aims to prevent discrimination in access to broadband services based on factors such as income level and race, has faced criticism from GOP lawmakers who argue that it represents a significant expansion of government control over the internet.
Opponents of the rule, including Representatives Andrew Clyde and Buddy Carter, have raised concerns over the potential for censorship and stifling of innovation. They argue that the FCC’s regulatory authority will impede the free market and widen the digital divide, rather than bridging it as intended. The resolution of disapproval would allow lawmakers to object to the rule being put forward by the administration.
The Biden Administration, on the other hand, maintains that the rule is necessary to protect civil rights, lower costs, and increase internet access for all Americans. Vice President Kamala Harris has stated that the rule will ensure equitable broadband deployment and network upgrades. However, critics argue that the government’s involvement may have unintended consequences and hinder future investment in broadband infrastructure.
Several outside groups, including Heritage Action for America and Americans for Prosperity, have endorsed the GOP resolution. They argue that the FCC’s rule represents an unnecessary extension of government power and would result in regulators making decisions based on the race of customers. David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, emphasizes the need to hold the FCC accountable for this proposal.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has previously referred to the rule as a “breathtaking” government power grab, expressing concerns over the extensive control it would grant the federal government over internet services and infrastructure. Carr believes that the proposed rules give the government the authority to micromanage various aspects of the internet, from service allocation to consumer choices.
The resolution filed by House Republicans is expected to face an uphill battle in both the House and the Democrat-controlled Senate. If it were to pass both chambers, it would then go to President Biden’s desk for approval. As of now, the White House and the FCC have not commented on the GOP resolution.
The Biden Administration’s proposed “digital discrimination” rule is facing opposition from Congressional Republicans who argue that it represents an overreach of government power and could lead to censorship and hinder innovation. Critics claim that the rule may inadvertently widen the digital divide instead of bridging it as intended. The resolution of disapproval filed by House Republicans highlights their concerns and aims to challenge the FCC’s rule. The outcome of this battle will determine the future of internet regulations under the Biden Administration.