On Sunday’s “State of the Union” on CNN, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) criticized his Republican colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his stance on the net neutrality issue.
“[Cruz] has it completely wrong and he just doesn’t understand what this issue is,” Franken said. “We have had net neutrality the entire history of the Internet. So when he says this is the ObamaCare, ObamaCare was a government program that fixed something, that changed things. This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same that they’ve been. And the pricing happens by the value of something.”
Cruz’s office insists Franken missed the junior Texas senator’s earlier point in his criticism of the net neutrality proposal put forth by President Barack Obama. In a statement provided to Breitbart News from Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, putting regulation in the hands of the government bureaucracy, specifically the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would be a “radical and extreme” measure.
“In his remarks in Austin on Friday, Senator Cruz criticized net neutrality for the precise reason it would keep the Internet ‘the same’ as Senator Franken said,” the statement explained. “Allowing the government to regulate the Internet as a public utility would freeze innovation and prevent progress. It’s radical and extreme to put the future of the Internet in the hands of a 5-member FCC panel influenced by lobbyists and politicians and unaccountable to regular, working Americans.”
During that speech in Austin, Cruz illustrated the rationale behind that statement, by pointing out the differences in regulation of the Internet, currently under Title I of the Telecommunications Act, and Title II, which would allow for stricter FCC controls.
“This,” Cruz explained, pointing to an old landline telephone, “is regulated by Title II.”
“This is not,” he continued, holding up a smartphone. “Your smartphone, the Internet, the apps – all of this is outside of Title II. The innovation is happening without having to go to government regulators and say, ‘Mother, May I?’”
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