Not looking to waste any time, House Energy & Commerce
Committee Republican leaders have scheduled a March 9 markup of their
resolution (H.J. Res. 37) blocking the FCC's network neutrality rules. It will
immediately follow a legislative hearing on the substance of the resolution
scheduled for the same day.
Marking up a bill consists of amending and voting on the
bill in committee.
Democrats last week had asked that the markup be postponed
so the legislative hearing could be held. Republicans agreed, but have now said
the postponement will only be a few hours.
Democrats had also complained in a letter Monday that
Republican leaders were not allowing any amendments on the resolution, but according to a markup notice from the committee, amendments
will indeed be allowed up to two hours before they are offered in the markup.
But whether they will be vote on could be another matter. In a Majority briefing paper on the resolution, and an e-mail sent around Monday, Reppublicans point out that a resolution is not subject to amendment. In addition to saying amendments will be "accepted," the markup notice also solilcits comment on whether those amendments are germane.
There will be three staff briefings on the bill March 8, a
bipartisan staff briefing followed by separate Republican and Democrat
Currently, the resolution is about as short as bills get. It
reads simply: "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, that Congress disapproves the
rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter
of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices [regulatory
citation omitted], and such rule shall have no force or effect."
The rules if they survive don't go into effect until
midsummer at the earliest anyway thanks to procedural hurdles having to do
with the Paperwork Reduction Act.