FCC Chairman Pai applauds Congress for not bringing back net neutrality rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai thanks Congress Wednesday night for not bringing back the Obama era net neutrality rules. (FCC file photo)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai celebrated a failed attempt by Congress Wednesday night to bring back the Obama-led net neutrality rules.

Before adjourning for new members and an ensuing Democrat majority, the GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives voted against reinstating the net neutrality rules that were put in place in 2015 under the auspices of then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The Congressional Review Act resolution, which would have nullified the new FCC rules that got rid of net neutrality, passed the Senate in May with support from three Republicans.

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The U.S. House of Representatives vote failed to put the put the Congressional Review Act into effect by replacing the FCC's 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order before the lame-duck Congress adjourned.

Pai wasted little time in issuing a statement after the decision was reached Wednesday night. Pai said that for the past two decades the "internet flourished under a bipartisan, light touch regulatory framework," while contending that the net neutrality rules provided too much governmental oversight.

"I’m pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives declined to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation," Pai said in his statement. "They did the right thing—especially considering the positive results for American consumers since the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order."

While net neutrality was shot down on the federal level, several states, including California, have been developing their own rules for large ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. Attorney generals in 22 states and several tech firms have filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the for the District of Columbia

Despite last night's failed vote, Fight for the Future is continuing to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

"We just shined a giant spotlight on corruption in Congress," Evan Greer, deputy director for Fight for the Future, said in a statement. "Every single lawmaker who voted against the CRA in the Senate or failed to sign on to the discharge petition in the House has exposed themselves as industry puppets."

"It’s an uphill battle, but we are winning the fight to restore net neutrality. The Internet freedom movement is stronger than it’s ever been as we head into 2019. We’ll keep fighting in the states, in the courts, and in Congress. It’s only a matter of time before net neutrality is the law of the land again.”

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