Chairman Seeks Information to Examine Undue Outside Influences on FCC

Washington — Chairman Ron Johnson sent a letter today to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting information that will allow an examination of whether undue outside pressures, particularly from the White House, may have led to the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband as a public utility. The chairman made these remarks on the letter:

“The current administration has a ‘go at it alone’ mentality. At the beginning of this Congress, Republicans offered to work together with Democrats in Congress on a bipartisan bill that would address the net neutrality issue once and for all.  Rather than take the offer to work through a bill in Congress, the administration appears to believe it is easier just to let this policy issue be determined by unelected bureaucrats at the FCC.  This week, we learned that this may not have been an FCC decision at all, but instead another executive action dictated out of the White House.  The FCC’s new position on net neutrality is not only a monumental shift from Chairman Wheeler’s original net neutrality proposal but also a large deviation from the light regulatory touch applied to broadband services since the Clinton administration.  The decision is wrong, and the process raises serious questions about the president’s inappropriate influence over what is supposed to be an independent agency that derives its authority from Congress and not the White House.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.