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GOP Leaders to the President: The FCC’s Government Takeover of the Internet Would Kill Jobs, Undermine Our Economy


May 12, 2010

Washington
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Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama today urging him to rein in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and stop its new plan to impose job-killing “net neutrality” regulations that will undermine job creation in America.

“We are writing to respectfully urge immediate reconsideration of your administration’s plan for federal regulation of the Internet, and to warn that implementation of such a plan will needlessly inhibit the creation of American private sector jobs, limit economic freedom and innovation, and open the door to Internet taxation,” Boehner and Cantor wrote in the letter.  “With nearly 10 percent unemployment the new ‘network neutrality’ plan announced last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could hardly come at a worse time for our nation’s economy, which is already struggling against a steady flow of increased government spending and taxation from Washington.”

The FCC’s political agenda threatens to slow job-creating investments and jeopardizes our economic recovery.  It’s not too late to rein in the FCC’s push to regulate the Internet.  With so many Americans out of work we should be working together to unleash the full job-creating potential of the private sector, including the Internet, rather than stifling such growth through expansions of federal power and taxation,” the letter concludes.

NOTE: Following is the full letter from Boehner and Cantor to the President.  It follows a similar letter from Boehner and Cantor to the President last October.

May 12, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We are writing to respectfully urge immediate reconsideration of your administration’s plan for federal regulation of the Internet, and to warn that implementation of such a plan will needlessly inhibit the creation of American private sector jobs, limit economic freedom and innovation, and open the door to Internet taxation.  With nearly 10 percent unemployment the new “network neutrality” plan announced last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could hardly come at a worse time for our nation’s economy, which is already struggling against a steady flow of increased government spending and taxation from Washington.

We wrote you eight months ago expressing our dismay that, with Americans struggling through the worst economic decline in a generation, the FCC was engaged in a counterproductive crusade to regulate the Internet.  We noted that private sector investment has been a cornerstone of broadband deployment, and that imposing network neutrality regulations would only serve to stifle one of the remaining bright spots in our economy.  To help expedite our recovery and create jobs, we urged you to refocus the Commission on promoting broadband investment and deployment.  Many parties, including business leaders, investment analysts, several labor unions, the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and more than 70 House Democrats echoed our concerns.

Almost a year later, with our economy still in a precarious state, the FCC Chairman continues to hurtle the agency down a misguided path.  Since our letter, the Commission’s broadband plan confirmed that our nation’s deregulatory approach has helped the private sector deploy broadband to 95 percent of U.S households and led 200 million Americans to subscribe in the last decade.  And last month, the D.C. Circuit rebuked the FCC’s attempt to micromanage Comcast’s network management of Internet congestion.  Yet FCC Chairman Genachowski is now threatening to regulate broadband as an old-fashioned, monopoly-era phone service, contradicting a decade of FCC decisions under Democratic and Republican administrations.

As the pretext for this government takeover of yet another sector of our economy, the Chairman claims he cannot implement the broadband plan in the wake of the Comcast decision.  Even if this assertion were true, the Chairman’s proper course should be to seek additional authority from Congress.  Instead, the Chairman has chosen a politically-motivated end-run around both the courts and the Congress to implement his network neutrality regulations.

The FCC’s political agenda threatens to slow job-creating investments and jeopardizes our economic recovery.  It’s not too late to rein in the FCC’s push to regulate the Internet.  With so many Americans out of work we should be working together to unleash the full job-creating potential of the private sector, including the Internet, rather than stifling such growth through expansions of federal power and taxation.

Sincerely,

John Boehner
Republican Leader 

Eric Cantor
Republican Whip

cc: Chairman Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission

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Print version of this document

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