Editor’s Note: This first appeared in BigGovernment.com.
The vote on Senate Joint Resolution (S.J. Res) 6 – the Resolution of Disapproval to undo the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s illegal, unilateral Network Neutrality Internet power grab – is a watershed moment for the members of the Senior Circuit.
The FCC – in fact no federal Agency, Department or Commission – can do anything unless and until Congress writes a law that says “Yo – do this.”
As a unanimous D.C. Circuit Court pointed out in April of 2010, Congress has never done this for the FCC with regard to the Internet and Net Neutrality.
The Commission clearly, simply doesn’t have the juice to do what they again did last December. It is an egregious overreach, and it must be undone.
Senators – not agencies like the FCC – write laws. That’s their gig. Each and every Senator that votes against S.J. Res 6 is giving up on what they asked their constituents to send them to Washington to do.
To vote No is to give up on being an elected representative of We the People.
To vote No is to cede further illegal authority to a Barack Obama Administration that is every day grabbing as much unConstitutional power as they possibly can.
It’s a silent Yes to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) illegally (over-)regulating the energy sector.
It’s a silent Yes to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor illegally (over-)regulating businesses.
It’s a silent Yes to the Obama Administration’s over-arching, ceaseless “regulatory tsunami.”
(T)he Obama administration has “imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over ten years.” In addition, the report says there are 219 more “economically significant regulations” in the works which will cost businesses $100 million or more each year — for a minimum cost of $21 billion over ten years. The number of pages in the Federal Register, in which such rules are recorded, is increasing rapidly, the report says, and “pages devoted to final rules rose by 20 percent between 2009 and 2010, and proposed rules have increased from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010.”
S.J. Res 6 is in fact not about Net Neutrality. It is about the illegal way Net Neutrality was jammed through – without the People’s Congress having a say. It’s not the product, it’s the process.
As brilliantly demonstrated by Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. Who was a co-sponsor of the 2007 Net Neutrality bill – and is a co-sponsor of S.J. Res 6. In a very recent letter to her Senate colleagues, Senator Snowe wrote:
My interest in protecting the fundamental rights of Internet users and businesses does not diminish my understanding of the importance of establishing proper policy that protects and encourages innovation to occur in all segments of the Internet supply chain, which is essential to the Internet’s continued health and growth. Without question, it is more important that we get this right rather than done hastily, and in order to do that the only appropriate action, given the current landscape, is for Congress to act first.
Senator Snowe is merely acknowledging the proper Constitutional process – for which we are most grateful.
We may disagree over the need for Net Neutrality (if the Internet ain’t broke – and it ain’t – by all means don’t bring in the government to “fix” it). But we wholeheartedly agree with and hail Senator Snowe’s principled stand for the rule of law.
Her fellow Senators should make note – and take heed. Many of them are, after all, up for reelection just next year.
Where they will again ask their constituents to reelect them – as lawmakers. Not as rubber stamp capitulators to illegal government power grabs.
They vote now, you vote later – and you’ll remember then what they do now.