E&C Democrats Seek To Amend Net Neutrality Resolution

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Top House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats say they should be allowed to amend the proposed Resolution of Disapproval that would invalidate the FCC's network neutrality regulations.

That came in a letter Monday to House E&C Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.). Walden introduced the resolution, but postponed a markup and scheduled a hearing on the substance of the legislation for this week, with a markup (amending and voting the bill out of committee) likely to come next week, according to a source.

In the letter, the Democrats, led by ranking E&C member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and ranking subcommittee member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), said the majority had advised them last week that they would not be allowed to add any amendments to the resolution. While they recognize that, under the Congressional Review Act, they have the ability to "deny" debate and amendments, they say that would be "a major departure from the Committee's tradition of transparency and an extraordinary silencing of its members."

The Dems offered an alternative, proposing a regular bill overruling the FCC's Dec. 21 vote to expand and codify network neutrality rules. That way, they would be able to amend it.

Even if the Republicans do pass the resolution, as expected, it is not expected to move beyond the Democratically controlled Senate or make it past a president who spoke out in favor of the new regs.

Among others signing on to the letter were Ed Markey (D-Mass.), John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

Spokespeople for Upton and Walden were not immediately available for comment.

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