GOP senators back off anti-net neutrality stance

Senate Republicans have decided not to push forward with a plan to block funding for new regulatory mandates for FCC, a move in protest to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposal to implement net neutrality and open Internet regulations against both wireless and wireline telecom companies.

"While we are still generally opposed to net neutrality regulations, we have decided to hold off on the amendment because [FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski] approached us and we are beginning a dialogue," an anonymous GOP Senate aide told the Washington Post.

Genachowski laid out his proposals in a speech Monday at the Brookings Institute. Hours after Genachowski's speech, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the ranking member of Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said she would introduce an amendment to block FCC funding for new regulations. The amendment was sponsored by several other Republican senators, including Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), David Vitter (R-La.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

According to the Post, Genachowski called the Republicans himself to try and ease the tensions.

Genachowski's plan elicited a wide range of responses, from swift rebukes from AT&T and Verizon to support from Sprint Nextel and Clearwire.

For more:
- see this CQ Politics article
- see this Washington Post article

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