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House Republican Introduces Bill to Block FCC's 'Internet Grab'

Rep. Marsha Blackburn introduced legislation Wednesday to deny the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory oversight over the Internet, which the Tennessee Republican insisted was the “sole prerogative of Congress” to administer.

“I agree that the Internet faces a number of challenge, ” Blackburn said in a release. “Only Congress can address those challenges without compounding them. Until we do, the FCC and other federal bureaucracies should keep their hands off the ‘net.”

According to Rep. Blackburn’s office, the “Internet Freedom Act” has the support of more than 60 House members, including a majority of GOP’ers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The legislation already has bipartisan support, counting among its endorsers Blue Dog Democrat Dan Boren of Oklahoma.

“The only sector of our economy showing growth is online,” Blackburn said. “In these times, for an unelected bureaucracy with dubious jurisdiction and misplaced motives to unilaterally regulate that growth is intolerable.”

But Blackburn, who filed similar legislation in 2009, said the measure is an “intermediate step” to counter the FCC’s recent adoption of Net neutrality rules. By way of a more immediate enforcement countermeasure, her office says she supports invoking the Congressional Review Act, which empowers legislators to invalidate noxious regulatory frameworks developed by federal agencies.

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