House plans first vote to overturn Net neutrality rules

House of Representatives panel announces vote Wednesday on resolution of disapproval saying FCC's controversial Internet regulations "shall have no force or effect."

Declan McCullagh Former Senior Writer
Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.
Declan McCullagh

The Federal Communications Commission's controversial Net neutrality regulations may soon vanish.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee is planning a vote Wednesday morning on whether to rescind the agency's Internet regulations that it adopted by a 3-2 vote in December.

Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology announced today that the vote will be on a so-called resolution of disapproval (PDF), which says the FCC's regulations "shall have no force or effect."

A resolution of disapproval is a formal process, outlined in the Congressional Review Act, that permits Congress to overturn decisions of federal agencies. It requires both the House and the Senate to vote, and is subject to a presidential veto, but is not subject to a filibuster and only requires 51 votes to clear the Senate.

Today's announcement of a vote isn't exactly a surprise. A resolution of disapproval was introduced earlier this month in the House, and a parallel version in the Senate already has 40 sponsors.

During a speech to religious broadcasters yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged that repealing the FCC's Internet regulations would be a priority. "Our new majority in the House is committed to using every tool at our disposal to fight a government takeover of the Internet," he said.

That follows remarks in January from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who said at a conference in Washington, D.C., that "here is the first opportunity for conservatives to make a stand."

Verizon Communications and MetroPCS have sued to overturn the FCC's regulations.