White House Advisers: President Should Veto Net Neutrality-Blocking Bill

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The Administration has come out strongly against H.J. Res. 37, the Congressional Review Act resolution that would invalidate the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules, signaling the president would veto it if it got to his desk.

In a statement as the resolution was being debated in the House Rules Committee, the White House issued a statement criticizing it.

"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.J. Res. 37, which would undermine a fundamental part of the Nation's Internet and innovation strategy - an enforceable and effective policy for keeping the Internet free and open. Since the development of the Internet, Federal policy has ensured that this medium is kept open and facilitates innovation and investment, protects consumer choice, and enables free speech." said the White House.

"The rule at issue resulted from a process that brought together parties on all sides of this issue - from consumer groups to technology companies to broadband providers - to enable their voices to be heard. Notably, the Federal Communications Commission's rule reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation. Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and raise questions as to whether innovation on the Internet will be allowed to flourish, consumers will be protected from abuses, and the democratic spirit of the Internet will remain intact.

"If the President is presented with a Resolution of Disapproval that would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution."

It is unlikely to get that far, however, after expected passage in the House since it would also have to pass the Democratically controlled Senate.

The Resolution was voted out of the Rules Committee Monday under a closed rule, which limits debates and prevents amendments. The House is expected to vote on the rule Tuesday (it has to approve bringing the bill up under the closed rule). A vote on the resolution itself is expected Thursday, with a half hour of debate on each side, according to a staffer for Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who spoke in strong opposition to the resolution Monday.

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