E&C to Mark Up Internet Governance Bill

Sets April 17 for full-committee consideration of legislation already voted out of subcommittee
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The House Energy & Commerce Committee has
scheduled an April 17 markup of a bill that would codify the earlier sense of
the Congress resolution endorsing the multistakeholder model of Internet
governance.

The
bill was voted out of the Communications subcommittee on a voice vote last
week, but only after Republican bill backers agreed to talks with Democrats
about some of their problems with the bill.

The
major issue is with codifying the term "freedom from government
control." Democrats say that language in a sense of Congress resolution,
which lacks the force of law, is different from a bill saying the same thing.
They fear unintended consequences like undercutting the FCC's authority to
impose network neutrality regulations or oversee the transition to IP delivery.

Republicans
say that the law would not call that authority into question and is simply
codifying language the House and Senate voted unanimously to approve in the
resolution.

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