Vote Explanation for H.R. 2666 — No Rate Regulation for Broadband Internet Access Act

Since its creation in 1934, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been charged with promoting competition, ensuring the safe and reliable access of communication services, and driving innovation in our increasingly globalized economy.

On the surface, H.R. 2666 addresses an issue that both Democrats and Republicans support: net neutrality. Net neutrality prevents the FCC from setting rates that broadband providers use. In fact, the FCC has made it clear through its recent Open Internet Order that it has chosen not to set rates for broadband providers. While the FCC has made it clear that it will not set rate regulations, this legislation would codify a broad definition of what it is prohibiting — the regulation of rates. Consequently, this bill could limit the ability of the FCC to protect internet innovators and businesses, address unfair discriminatory practices, and enforce net neutrality rules.

Unfortunately, Republicans rejected an effort by my Democratic colleagues to improve this bill with an amendment that would have codified the FCC’s decision to not apply rate setting regulations.

At the end of the day, the No Rate Regulation for Broadband Internet Access Act is an example of how poorly written laws can have detrimental consequences. As it stands, this legislation would undermine the authority of the FCC to protect consumers and ensure a safe and open Internet for all. For these reasons, I voted against H.R. 2666.