Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Restoring Internet Freedom Act, a bill that would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order and prohibit the FCC from issuing a similar rule in the future.
The bill is cosponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and James Inhofe (R-OK).
“Few areas of our economy have been as dynamic and innovative as the internet,” Sen. Lee said. “This is largely because the federal government has taken a hands-off approach that has allowed permissionless innovation to deliver unthinkable technological advances in such a short amount of time. But now this engine of growth is threatened by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which would put federal bureaucrats in charge of engineering the Internet’s infrastructure. That is why I am introducing the Restoring Internet Freedom Act, which would nullify Open Internet Order and prohibit the FCC from issuing a similar rule in the future.”
“Two and a half years ago, I said that net neutrality was ‘Obamacare for the Internet,’” said Sen. Cruz. “At the time, the Obama administration, in its typically deceptive manner, had conflated net neutrality — a worthy idea, as originally defined, to protect an open internet — with reclassifying the internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, a burdensome, behemoth of a law that gives all sorts of authority to the government to regulate pricing and terms of service and stifle innovation online. My comments were intended to raise awareness of this unprecedented government power grab, which the Obama administration and its friends at the FCC were attempting to quietly accomplish. I am proud to work with my friend Mike Lee on the Restoring Internet Freedom Act, a bill that rolls back former President Obama’s power grab, protects open internet principles, and recognizes the transformative effect that the internet has had on our lives, generating billions of dollars of new economic activity and millions of jobs, largely free of government’s heavy hand. We must preserve a free and open internet, and give stability to the companies and users operating within the internet ecosystem.”
“This bill is another important step to roll back harmful Obama-era regulations that stifle innovation and delay broadband deployment in Wisconsin and throughout America,” Sen. Johnson said. “The FCC has taken encouraging steps to address this overreach, and the Restoring Internet Freedom Act would help ensure that the Internet remains open and free of heavy-handed federal regulations.”
“Putting a stop to the FCC and the Obama administration’s unauthorized power grab over the Internet is an important step toward ensuring continued technological innovation,” Sen. Paul said. “The Internet and web-based commerce have flourished over the past twenty years, spurring growth in the American economy. Getting big government and bureaucrats out of the way of that growth will benefit all Americans.”
“This legislation is a step in the right direction as Congress works to ensure internet regulation does not stifle innovation,” Sen. Inhofe said. I appreciate the steps FCC Chairman Pai has already taken to roll back the 2015 Order which undercut future investment by curbing innovation and creativity and I look forward to working with my colleagues to address this issue.”