Whether it should be or not, net neutrality regulation is a nearly lock-step partisan issue in Washington, D.C. Democratic minorities both on the commission and in Congress oppose the rollback of the rules enacted in 2015 during President Obama’s term. But now one Republican has joined the critics. Today, Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, from the 6th Congressional District, east of Denver, sent a letter to Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai asking him to delay the FCC vote to abolish net neutrality rules, scheduled for Thursday morning.
A close read of the letter shows that Coffman is looking for more than a delay. He asks for “the opportunity to hold hearings on the network neutrality issue and pass permanent open Internet legislation.” Congressional action would, in theory, prevent the ping-pong effect of the rules changing every time a new party takes the White House. But Congress remains quite divided on the issue. Coffman is the only Republican to take a firm position against the FCC. However, GOP senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have criticized the FCC’s decision-making process, as have some Republican representatives.
Plenty of Democrats have come out against chairman Pai. Thirty-two of them signed on to two letters, also delivered today, urging Pai to abandon his plans.
Thx to everyone who has contacted me in regards to #NetNeutrality. Below is the letter I sent to Chairman @AjitPaiFCC today to ensure the continuation of a free and open #internet. pic.twitter.com/oKqh7lxaLI
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) December 12, 2017