Scalise: Obama, FCC need not ‘fix’ Internet

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) issued a statement for the record during Thursday’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communication and Technology hearing, titled, “Protecting the Internet and Consumers Through Congressional Action.”

“The importance of today’s hearing and the issue before us cannot be overstated,” Scalise, the House majority whip, said. “Simply put, the Internet has positively changed the world and transformed our economy in ways previously unimagined. How we communicate, work, get our news, shop or even watch television have all changed  and improved drastically in just a few years. Even President Obama stated the ‘Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy – and our society – has ever known.’ That is why I continued to be baffled by this president’s belief that the federal government needs to now swoop in and ‘fix’ the Internet.”

The congressman went on to discuss his concerns with Obama’s proposed increased regulation of broadband networks and the Internet.

“Apparently, the president and the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) believe (broadband) must be ‘fixed’ by applying outdated laws and regulations from the 1930s,” Scalise said. “Reclassifying broadband under Title II represents a complete paradigm shift in how our government treats the Internet. The long-standing and successful ‘light touch’ regulatory model has ensured the Internet’s success. Why would we want to introduce more government regulation and bureaucratic micromanagement from Washington that would harm a vibrant, successful, well-functioning global set of networks? It makes no sense. The impacts of Title II will be profound, and the imminent regulatory uncertainty under reclassification will drag on for years and kill billions of dollars in private investment. We must proceed deliberately. I urge the FCC to do the same and to take its direction from Congress rather than bow to political pressure from the White House.”