The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

Key Senators Urge Appropriations Committee to Support FCC

Kerry Letter Calls Inquiry on FCC Proposal “Reasonable and Responsible”


Today, four key senators, including Sen. John
(D-Mass.), chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on
Communications, Technology, and the Internet; Sen. Maria
(D-Wash.); Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.);
and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) urged the Chairman and
Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support the
Federal Communications Commission's efforts to protect consumers and
connect more Americans to broadband service.

In their letter to Chairman Daniel Inouye
(D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.),
the senators wrote, "it is the agency's responsibility to ensure it has
the proper regulatory structure in place to execute its responsibilities
under existing law. Preempting that process through an appropriations
rider would be inappropriate."

The senators "oppose any effort to use the appropriations
process to block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using
its existing legal authority to preserve an open Internet, protect
consumers, and provide rural residents and Americans with disabilities
with access to today's broadband Internet services." The senators
further express support for the FCC's "third way" proposal to modernize
its broadband policy framework, and they recommend seeking public
comment on the proposal as "a reasonable and responsible way to move

Free Press Policy Counsel Aparna Sridhar said:

"We greatly appreciate Senators Kerry, Cantwell, Wyden and
Udall's efforts to help all Americans get connected to broadband.
Americans will not be able to realize the full potential of the Internet
if our broadband policy stands on shaky legal footing, and this letter
provides critical support for the FCC's efforts to re-establish its
oversight over broadband networks. We couldn't agree more with the
letter's message: Congress should not prevent the FCC from merely asking
basic questions about how best to achieve America's broadband goals in a
manner that is structurally sound and legally sustainable. We
appreciate the senators' efforts on behalf of American consumers."

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