Boozman on the FCC
Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed plan to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs). It is good to hear from you.
As you may know, a D.C. Circuit court of appeals ruled on January 14, 2014, that the FCC lacked the authority to impose network neutrality restrictions on broadband providers. In response, on May 15, 2014, the FCC announced a ‘Notice of Proposed Rulemaking’ (NPRM) to reclassify ISPs as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act effectively expanding the FCC’s authority to impose restrictions on ISPs.
Although the FCC Chairman and Commissioners are nominated by the President, the FCC is an independent agency under the jurisdiction of Congress. On November 10, 2014, President Obama publicly urged the FCC to ensure that new rules would include the reclassification of ISPs and impose more strict regulations on broadband providers. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have launched investigations to determine whether the White House improperly influenced the FCC’s independent rulemaking process. I believe that congressional oversight is an entrusted responsibility of Congress that ensures government accountability and transparency, a duty that I take very seriously.
On February 4, 2015, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the immediate submission of his proposal and has scheduled a final vote for February 26, 2015. Like you, I believe in protecting an open, free and vibrant Internet. Congress has a duty to see that our laws are fair, not only to the companies involved, but also to citizens across the nation that use technology every day. I believe the FCC should focus on removing barriers to competition and allowing the private sector to more effectively allocate our broadband resources. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation closely and should any relevant legislation come before the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind.
Boozman Statement on Department of Homeland Security Funding Vote
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement on the Senate vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) without putting restrictions on funding for President Obama’s executive orders on immigration:
“Despite last week’s federal court ruling putting President Obama’s executive order on hold, Senate Democrats continued to filibuster the House-passed DHS funding bill in an effort to protect the President. While I appreciate Senator McConnell’s efforts to find a way forward, this is a problem of the President’s creation and he should not get a pass from Congress for his unconstitutional actions. We have a responsibility to stand up for our constituents. Therefore, I could not, in good conscience, support a DHS funding bill that does not specifically withhold funding for what amounts to amnesty by fiat.”
Background: Last month, the House of Representatives passed a DHS appropriations bill that withheld funding for the President’s executive orders declaring amnesty. After Senate Democrats filibustered four separate attempts to begin debate on the House bill, the Majority Leader brought forward a bill that funds DHS without any conditions on the President Obama’s executive actions. The bill passed the Senate, but Boozman voted against it.