PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
(Senate - March 22, 2017)

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[Pages S1925-S1929]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE 
                   FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the joint resolution.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (S.J. Res. 34) providing for 
     congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United 
     States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal 
     Communications Commission relating to ``Protecting the 
     Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other 
     Telecommunications Services.''

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I rise in support of my resolution of 
disapproval under the Congressional Review Act of the FCC's broadband 
privacy restrictions. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's 
Privacy Subcommittee, I have spent more than a year closely examining 
this issue.
  In February of 2015 the FCC, under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler, took 
the unprecedented step of reclassifying broadband providers as ``common 
carriers'' under title II of the Communications Act. In other words, on 
a 3-to-2 party-line vote, the FCC decided that internet service 
providers should be treated like telephone companies for regulatory 
purposes. The decision encroached on the Federal Trade Commission's 
jurisdiction to regulate ISP privacy policies, stripping these 
companies of their traditional privacy regulator.
  Recognizing that his actions to impose net neutrality on ISPs created 
regulatory uncertainty, last spring Chairman Wheeler began to float the 
idea of implementing new FCC privacy rules. The FCC decided, again on a 
3-to-2 party-line vote, to move forward with the rule change just 
before election day. The whole process was unsettling, to say the 
least.
  The FCC ultimately decided to commandeer an area of regulatory 
authority for itself, without any meaningful check on this unilateral 
action. Once it initiated the bureaucratic power grab, it proceeded to 
establish new rules restricting the free speech of its regulatory 
target.
  I submitted comments to the agency expressing my constitutional 
concerns about its proposed rule. I wasn't alone in doing so. Noted 
Harvard law professor Larry Tribe, hardly one to be confused for a 
conservative, did the same. But the rules were finalized nonetheless.
  While the FCC recently took a step in the right direction by staying 
the application of the privacy rules, these midnight regulations are 
still hanging out there. Congress needs to repeal these privacy 
restrictions in order to restore balance to the internet ecosystem and 
provide certainty to consumers.
  These regulations have altered the basic nature of privacy protection 
in the United States. For decades, the FTC policed privacy based on 
consumer expectations for their data, not bureaucratic preferences. 
These consumer expectations were just common sense: Sensitive data 
deserves more protection than nonsensitive data.
  Unfortunately, the FCC rules dispensed with this commonsense 
regulatory approach. Under the new rules, what matters isn't what the 
data is but, rather, who uses it. This creates a dual-track regulatory 
environment where some consumer data is regulated one way if a company 
is using it under the FCC's jurisdiction and an entirely different way 
if its use falls under the FTC, or the Federal Trade Commission.
  This is all confusing enough, but it gets worse. In the consumer 
technology sector, innovation is the name of the game. Companies are 
constantly rolling out new products and competing to win over 
consumers. By the same token, consumers are always on the lookout for 
the newest gadget or app. But the FCC's privacy order makes it 
increasingly difficult for consumers to learn about the latest product 
offerings from broadband providers. Instead of being notified about 
faster and more affordable alternatives for their family's home 
internet needs, under the FCC's privacy order, Arizonans might get left 
in the dark.
  The FCC's heavyhanded data requirements restrict the ability of 
broadband providers to offer services tailored to their customers' 
needs and interests, and they lead to inconsistent treatment of 
otherwise identical data online. When a regulation diminishes 
innovation, harms consumer choice, and is just all-around confusing, it 
is a bad regulation. The FCC's privacy rule for ISPs is a bad 
regulation.
  When it chose to impose needlessly onerous privacy regulations on 
broadband providers while leaving the rest of the internet under the 
successful FTC regime, the FCC unfairly picked one politically favored 
industry--the edge providers--to prevail over a different industry--
broadband.
  Repealing the FCC's privacy action is a crucial step toward restoring 
a single, uniform set of privacy rules for the internet. The FTC's 
privacy rules are the result of an ongoing, data-driven effort to 
understand and protect consumer expectations. That is the FTC. The 
FCC's rules, on the other hand, are the hasty byproduct of political 
interest groups and reflect the narrow preferences of well-connected 
insiders.
  To sum all of this up, the FCC's midnight privacy rules are confusing 
and counterproductive. This CRA will get rid of it, pure and simple. 
But let me say what it won't do. Despite claims to the contrary, using 
this CRA will not leave consumers unprotected. That is because the FCC 
is already obligated to police the privacy practices of broadband 
providers under section 222 of the Communications Act, as well as 
various other Federal and State laws.
  Both Chairman Wheeler and Chairman Pai agree on that point. Just last 
week, Chairman Pai wrote to my friends on the other side of the aisle 
confirming this legal fact.
  This resolution will not disrupt the FCC's power, nor will it 
infringe on the FTC's jurisdiction elsewhere. Neither will it affect 
how broadband providers currently handle consumer data. Broadband 
providers are currently regulated under section 222, and they will 
continue to be after these midnight regulations are rescinded.
  Passing this CRA will send a powerful message that Federal agencies 
can't unilaterally restrict constitutional rights and expect to get 
away with it. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution of 
disapproval.
  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, we are talking about taking privacy rights 
away from individuals if we suddenly eliminate this rule. Do you want a 
large company that is an internet provider, that has all the personal, 
sensitive information because of what you have been doing on the 
internet--do you want that company to be able to use that for 
commercial purposes without your consent? That is the issue.
  If you want to protect people's privacy, I would think you would want 
to require that an individual who has paid money for the internet 
provider to provide them with the internet--you go on the internet, and 
you go to whatever site you want. You do business. You do personal 
business. You do banking. You go on the internet and you buy things. 
You talk about your children's school, about when you are going to pick 
up your children, maybe what your children want to wear to school. You 
want to talk on the internet about anything that is personal. Do you 
want that internet provider to have access to

[[Page S1926]]

that information to be used for commercial purposes without your 
consent? If you ask that question to the American people, they are 
going to give you a big, resounding no.
  Should the internet provider use that information if you give your 
consent? Then that is fair game. If you give your consent so that they 
can alert you before a certain day--you might want to give a certain 
gift to your wife on her birthday, and they might have all that 
information, but maybe you don't want them to have the information 
about where your children go to school.
  Personal, sensitive information is what we are talking about; 
therefore, the whole issue here is, do you want the internet provider 
to be able to use that information without the person's consent, or do 
you want the person to have to actually effectively opt-in in order to 
give the internet provider that consent? To me, this is a clear-cut 
case of privacy.
  You can fancy it up, talking about FCC rules and so forth--and we 
have the author of the Telecom Act, Senator Markey, here, and he is 
going to talk about this and protections that were put in for 
telephones. But back then, remember, it was just you call from this 
number to this number on such and such a day for such and such a period 
of time. Even that was protected. But now--just think about this--we 
are talking about all the personal transactions that you do every day 
through the internet.
  So I rise today in opposition to this resolution brought under the 
Congressional Review Act to disapprove the Federal Communications 
Commission's broadband consumer privacy rules. I would think that the 
distinguished Senator sitting in the Chair, who values privacy as he 
does--that this is going to be something he would be concerned about, 
as well as every other Senator in this Chamber, because you know that 
if you ask your constituents ``Do you want your privacy invaded without 
your consent?'' you know what the answer is going to be.
  Americans care about their online privacy. They want to have control 
over how their personal information is exploited by third parties. In 
fact, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that 91 percent 
of adults feel they have lost control of how their personal information 
is collected and then used. That same study found that 74 percent of 
Americans believe it is very important that they be in control of who 
can get information about them, and a majority believe that their 
travels around the internet--the sites they visit and how long they 
spend in that location--are sensitive information that should be 
protected. I hope the Senators are going to pay attention to this 
because we are talking about sensitive, personal information.
  Do you know that your geolocation is something that you are 
transmitting over the internet? Do you want your location and where you 
have been to be in the hands of somebody who could use that for 
commercial purposes? I don't think so. That is why this past October 
the FCC provided broadband subscribers with tools to allow them to have 
greater control over how their personal online information is used, 
shared, and then sold.
  The FCC has been protecting telephone customers' privacy for decades, 
and it updated its longstanding privacy protections to protect the 
privacy of broadband customers. In fact, it is safe to say that what 
the FCC did last October was the most comprehensive update to its 
consumer privacy and data protection rules in decades.
  The FCC put in place clear rules that require broadband providers to 
seek their subscribers' specific and informed consent before using or 
sharing sensitive personal information and give broadband customers the 
right to opt out of having their nonsensitive information used and 
shared if they chose to do so. The FCC also gave broadband subscribers 
additional confidence in the protection and security of their data by 
putting in place reasonable data security and breach notification 
requirements for broadband providers.
  Simply put, the FCC decided to put American consumers--each one of us 
who pays these monthly fees for our broadband service--in the driver's 
seat of how their personal online data is used and shared by the 
broadband provider to which they have been paying a monthly fee to use 
their service. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so.
  Please understand that broadband providers know a lot about every one 
of us. In fact, it may be startling, the picture that your broadband 
provider can develop about your daily habits and then sell to the 
highest bidder.
  Your home broadband provider can know when you wake up every day 
either by knowing the time each morning that you log on to the internet 
to check the weather and news of the morning or through a connected 
device in your home.
  That provider may know immediately that you are not feeling well, 
that you kind of feel sick, assuming you peruse the internet, like most 
of us do, to get a quick check on your symptoms. In fact, your 
broadband provider may know more about your health and your reaction to 
illness than you are willing to share with your doctor. Think about 
that.
  Personal privacy? If you let this go to the highest bidder, personal 
privacy of sensitive information is going to be out the window.
  Your home broadband provider can build a profile about your listening 
and viewing habits given that today most of us access music, news, and 
video programming over broadband.
  Your broadband provider may have a better financial picture of you 
than even your bank or your brokerage firm or your financial adviser 
because they see every website you visit across every device in your 
home and can build a thorough profile about you through these habits.
  If you live in a connected home, the home of the future--and the 
future is now, by the way--they may know even more details about how 
you go about your day-to-day activities. Your mobile broadband provider 
knows how you move about through the day, your geolocation. They know 
through information about that geolocation and the internet activity. 
All of that is through--guess what--this mobile device. Don't you think 
this is connected to the internet? And that is not to mention the sort 
of profile a broadband provider can start to build about our children 
from their birth. It is a gold mine of data, the holy grail, so to 
speak.
  It is no wonder that broadband providers want to be able to sell this 
information to the highest bidder without the consumer's knowledge or 
consent. And they want to collect and use this information without 
providing transparency or being held accountable. Is this what you want 
to inflict upon your constituents in your State by changing this rule 
about their personal, sensitive privacy? I don't think so. You better 
know what you are doing when you vote tomorrow. This vote is coming 
about noon tomorrow. You better know.

  As a country, we have not stood for this in the past, this kind of 
free utilization of information by entities that may want to have a 
unique look at who we are. We place stringent limits on the use of 
information by our doctors. We place stringent limits on our banks. 
When it comes to our children, I mean, that ought to be off-limits.
  Broadband providers can build similar profiles about us and in fact 
may be able to provide more detail about someone than any one of those 
entities can. Passing this Senate resolution will take consumers out of 
the driver's seat and place the collection and use of their information 
behind a veil of secrecy, despite the rhetoric surrounding our debate 
today suggesting that eliminating these commonsense rules will better 
protect consumers' privacy online or will eliminate consumer confusion.
  Don't fall for that argument, Senators. In fact, the resolution will 
wipe out thoughtful rules that were the product of months of hard work 
by the experts at the agency on regulating communications networks of 
all kinds. Those rules were crafted based upon a thorough record 
developed through an extensive multimonth rulemaking proceeding. The 
FCC received more than one-quarter of a million filings during this 
proceeding. They listened to the American people.
  The agency received extensive input from stakeholders in all quarters 
of the debate, from the broadband providers and telephone companies to 
the public interest groups and from academics to individual consumers. 
We are going to wipe all of this away at noon tomorrow

[[Page S1927]]

with a vote that you can do it by 50 votes in this Chamber? I don't 
think this is what the people want.
  On top of this, the rules are based on longstanding privacy 
protections maintained by the FCC for telephone companies, as well as 
the work of and the principles advocated by the Federal Trade 
Commission and advocated by State attorneys general and others in 
protecting consumer privacy. The FCC rules put in place basic 
safeguards for consumers' privacy based on three concepts that are 
widely accepted as the basis for privacy regulation in the United 
States and around the world: notice, choice--individual choice, 
consumer choice--and security, those three. They are not the radical 
proposals that some would have you believe they are.
  First, the rules require broadband providers to notify their 
customers about what types of information it collects about the 
individual customers, when they disclose or permit access to that 
information, and how customers can provide consent to that collection 
and disclosure.
  Second, the rules give consumers choice by requiring broadband 
providers to obtain a customer's affirmative opt in; in other words, I 
give you my consent before you can use or share my sensitive personal 
information.
  As I mentioned earlier, sensitive information includes a customer's 
precise geographic location--I don't think you want some people to know 
exactly where you are--your personal information, health, financial, 
information about your children, your Social Security number--how many 
laws do we have protecting Social Security numbers--the content you 
have accumulated on the web, web browsing, and application usage 
information.
  For information considered nonsensitive, broadband providers must 
allow customers to opt out of use and sharing of such information. 
Broadband providers must provide a simple, persistently available means 
for customers to exercise their privacy choices.
  Third, broadband providers are required to take reasonable measures 
to protect customers' information from unauthorized use, disclosure, or 
access. They must also comply with specific breach notifications. In 
other words, if somebody has busted the internet and stolen all of this 
information from the site, don't you think you ought to be notified 
that your personal information was hacked? Well, that is one of the 
requirements.
  So then I ask my colleagues: What in the world is wrong with 
requiring broadband providers to give their paying customers clear, 
understandable, and accurate information about what confidential and 
potentially highly personal information those companies collect? What 
is wrong with getting their consent to collect that information from 
their subscribers?
  What is wrong with telling customers how their information is 
collected when they use their broadband service? What is wrong with 
telling customers with whom they share this sensitive information? What 
is wrong with letting customers have a say in how their information is 
used? What is wrong with recognizing that information about a 
consumer's browsing history and ap usage, sensitive and personal 
information, should be held to a higher standard before it is shared 
with others? What is wrong with all of that?

  What is wrong with seeking a parent's consent before information 
about their children's activities or location is sold to the highest 
bidder? Do we as parents not go out of our way to protect our 
children's well-being and their privacy? Trying to overturn this rule 
is what is wrong.
  What is wrong with protecting consumers from being forced to sign 
away their privacy rights in order to subscribe to a broadband service? 
I want your internet service. Do I have to sign away the rights to my 
private information--private, sensitive information? What is wrong with 
making companies take reasonable efforts to safeguard the security of 
consumers' data?
  What is wrong with making companies notify their subscribers when 
they have had a breach? Again, I ask my colleagues: What in the world 
is wrong with giving consumers increased choice, transparency, and 
security online?
  Supporters of the joint resolution fail to acknowledge the negative 
impact this resolution is going to have on the American people. This 
regulation is going to wipe away a set of reasonable, commonsense 
protections. I want to emphasize that. Is it common sense to protect 
our personal, sensitive, private information? Of course it is. But we 
are just about--in a vote at noon tomorrow, with a majority vote, not a 
60-vote threshold, a majority vote here--we are just about to wipe all 
of that out. It will open our internet browsing histories and 
application usage patterns up to exploitation for commercial purposes 
by broadband providers and third parties who will line up to buy your 
information.
  It will create a privacy-free zone for broadband companies, with no 
Federal regulator having effective tools to set rules of the road for 
collection, use, and sale of that uniquely personal information of 
yours. It will tie the hands of the FCC because they cannot go back. 
Once this rule is overturned, they cannot go back and redo this rule. 
It will tie the hands of the Federal Communications Commission and 
eliminate the future ability to adopt clear, effective privacy and data 
security protections for you as a subscriber, in some cases even for 
telephone subscribers.
  To be sure, there are those who disagree with the FCC's broadband 
consumer privacy rules. There is an avenue for those complaints. These 
same companies that are pushing the joint resolution have filed for 
reconsideration of the rule at the FCC, and there is a judicial system. 
That is the appropriate way. Go back and get the FCC to amend--if you 
all are so concerned--or let the judicial system work its will, but do 
not do it in one fell swoop in a majority rule in this body tomorrow at 
noon.
  In fact, the critics of the FCC's rules have an open proceeding at 
the FCC in which they can argue on the record with an opportunity for 
full public participation to change and alter these rules.
  If the FCC did it--you have a new FCC, a new Chairman, a new majority 
on the FCC--let them be the ones to amend the rules after all the 
safeguards of the open hearings, of the comment period, all of that. By 
contrast, what we are using here to invade our privacy is a blunt 
congressional instrument called the Congressional Review Act. It means 
that all aspects of the rules adopted by the FCC must be overturned at 
once, including changes to the FCC's telephone privacy rules.
  It would deny the agency the power to protect consumers' privacy 
online, and it would prevent the FCC--get this--prevent them, the FCC, 
the regulatory body that now has a new chairman and a new majority--it 
would prevent the FCC from ever adopting even similar rules. I don't 
think that is what we want to do because it does not make sense. That 
is exactly what we are about to do.
  I also want to address the argument that the FCC rules are unfair to 
broadband providers because the same rules do not apply to other 
companies in the internet ecosystem. Supporters of this resolution will 
argue that the other entities in the internet ecosystem have access to 
the same personal information that the broadband providers do.
  They argue that everyone in the data collection business should be on 
a level playing field. Well, I ask my colleagues whether they have 
asked their constituents that question directly. Do Americans really 
believe that all persons who hold data about them should be treated the 
same? I venture to guess that most Americans would agree with the FCC 
that companies that are able to build detailed particulars about you 
and build those particular pictures about your lives through unique 
insights because of what you do every day in their internet usage--
shouldn't those companies be held to a higher standard?

  In addition, the FCC's rules still allow broadband providers to 
collect and use their subscribers' information. The providers merely 
need to obtain consent from those activities when it comes to their 
subscribers' highly sensitive information.
  The FCC also found that broadband providers, unlike any other 
companies in the internet ecosystem, are uniquely able to see every 
packet of information that a subscriber sends and receives--every 
packet of information that you

[[Page S1928]]

send or receive over the internet while on their networks. So if you 
have a provider, they are on your iPhone, and you are using them, they 
are seeing everything. That is not the case if you go to Google because 
Google sees only what you do while you are on Google. But the internet 
provider, the pipe that is carrying your information--they see 
everything that you do.
  Supporters of the joint resolution also hold out the superiority of 
the Federal Trade Commission's efforts on protecting privacy. They 
argue that there should be only one privacy cop on the beat. But, 
folks, that ignores reality. The FTC doesn't do everything. There are a 
number of privacy cops on the beat. Congress has given the FCC, the 
FTC, the FDA, and NHTSA regulatory authority to protect consumers' 
privacy.
  You had better get this clear because the FCC is the only agency to 
which Congress has given statutory authority to adopt rules to protect 
broadband customers' privacy. The FTC, the Federal Trade Commission, 
does not have the rulemaking authority in data security, even though 
commissioners at the FTC have asked Congress for such authority in the 
past. Given recent court cases, the FTC now faces even more 
insurmountable legal obstacles to taking action, protecting broadband 
consumers' privacy.
  So don't be fooled by this argument that folks are telling you over 
here that it ought to be the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission. As many 
have pointed out, elimination of the FCC's rules will result in a very 
wide chasm, where broadband and cable companies have no discernible 
regulation while internet ``edge'' companies abide by the FTC 
enforcement efforts.
  Without clear rules of the road, broadband subscribers will have no 
certainty of choice about how their private information can be used and 
no protection against its abuse--no protection, my fellow Americans, of 
your personal, sensitive, private data. That is why this Senator 
supports the FCC's broadband consumer privacy rules.
  I want to encourage my fellow Senators: You had better examine what 
you are about to do to people's personal privacy before you vote to 
overturn this rule tomorrow.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against the joint resolution.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). The Senator from South Dakota.


                  Orders for Thursday, March 23, 2017

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that when the 
Senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m., 
Thursday, March 23; further, that following the prayer and pledge, the 
morning hour be deemed expired, the Journal of proceedings be approved 
to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later 
in the day, and morning business be closed; finally, that the Senate 
resume consideration of S.J. Res. 34.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, the internet has grown at an unbounded rate 
in the years since its inception, a phenomenon no one can argue with. 
Much of that growth can be attributed to the light-touch regulatory 
approach that the government adopted in the early days of the web.
  As chairman of the Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over 
the internet, I have worked hard to promote policies that encourage the 
private sector to invest in and grow the internet ecosystem as a whole. 
All of that is jeopardized, however, if government bureaucrats have the 
ability to overregulate the digital world. When it comes to 
overregulating the internet, one need look no further than the 
Democratic-controlled Federal Communications Commission under President 
Obama.
  In a world that was turning away--it was literally turning away from 
the legacy telecommunication services and, instead, toward dynamic 
internet applications, the FCC found its role gradually diminishing. 
This is an inevitable and good byproduct, I might add, of a more 
competitive environment brought about by technological innovation and 
successful light-touch policies.
  Yet the Obama FCC fought hard against this technological progress 
and, instead, pursued an aggressively activist and partisan agenda that 
put government edicts ahead of real consumer desires. Over the last 2 
years, the FCC has made a stunning bureaucratic power grab. First, the 
FCC stripped away the Federal Trade Commission's authority to police 
internet providers and seized that for itself by recharacterizing such 
services as monopoly-era telecommunications.
  Then in 2016, the FCC, which has little experience regulating 
internet privacy, decided to turn our country's privacy laws on their 
head by abandoning the time-tested enforcement approach of the FTC, the 
Federal Trade Commission. These actions by the FCC ignored both common 
sense and real world data and, instead, focused on hypothetical harms 
of the future.
  Ignoring years of internet ecosystem precedent, where everyone was 
treated the same, the FCC's 2016 broadband privacy regulations would 
apply only to certain parts of the internet. This is a source of 
significant concern because at any particular time, consumers will not 
have reasonable certainty of what the rules are and how their privacy 
decisions will be applied.
  Are you at home on Wi-Fi? At home on a smartphone? Using your 
smartphone on a friend's Wi-Fi? Using the Internet at a library? Each 
of these could have very different privacy implications for a consumer 
because of the FCC's piecemeal approach to privacy, leading to more 
confusion and uncertainty, not increased privacy protections, as 
promised.
  In enacting these lopsided rules, the FCC seems to have gone out of 
its way to disregard established FTC practice by creating new 
regulations that differ significantly from the FTC's tried-and-true 
framework. The FTC's privacy regime is clear, easy to understand, and 
applies evenly throughout the marketplace. By contrast, the FCC's rules 
are complex, confusing, and often lead to the same data being treated 
inconsistently online.
  The FCC's action would harm consumers in other ways as well. Even 
though no consumer wants to be in the dark about newer and cheaper 
services, the FCC's rules actually make it more difficult for customers 
to hear about new, innovative offerings from their broadband providers. 
And because the FCC imposed heavy-handed data requirements on these 
internet companies, they will have less ability to offer services that 
are tailored to their customers' needs and interests. Furthermore, the 
FCC unfairly distorted the marketplace when it imposed unnecessarily 
onerous privacy restrictions on broadband providers while leaving the 
rest of the internet under the strong and successful regime at the FTC.
  When speaking about the economic opportunities the internet now 
affords us, President Obama's last FCC chairman declared that 
``government is where we will work this out.''
  ``Government is where we will work this out.''
  Well, I couldn't disagree more. I believe the marketplace should be 
the center of the debate over how our digital networks would function, 
not the FCC. I believe consumers and job creators should be the ones 
deciding about new technologies, not the government.
  The resolution before us today is the first step toward restoring 
regulatory balance to the internet ecosystem. The best way for that 
balance to be achieved is for there to be a single, uniform set of 
privacy rules for the internet--the entire internet--rules that 
appropriately weigh the need to protect consumers with the need to 
foster economic growth and continued online innovation.
  The FCC is simply the wrong venue for that effort. Its statutory 
scope is too narrow, and it lacks institutional expertise on privacy. 
The current chairmen of the FCC and the FTC both recognize this, having 
jointly called for returning jurisdiction over broadband providers' 
privacy and data security practices to the FTC ``so that all entities 
in the online space can be subject to the same rules.''
  For those reasons, I support the resolution before us that would 
provide congressional disapproval of the Obama administration's 
misguided and unfair attempts to regulate the internet, and I encourage 
my colleagues to support the resolution as well.
  To those people who have heard that this resolution somehow results 
in the elimination of all online protections for consumers, I can 
assure you those

[[Page S1929]]

claims are simply unfounded scaremongering. If this resolution is 
enacted, it will repeal only a specific rulemaking at the FCC that has 
yet to be implemented. What we are talking about here hasn't even been 
implemented yet. It will not touch the FCC's underlying statutory 
authority. Indeed, the FCC will still be obligated to police the 
privacy practices of broadband providers, as provided for in the 
Communications Act. The new chairman of the FCC confirmed this when he 
appeared before the Commerce Committee earlier this month. No matter 
what happens with this resolution, the FTC will continue to have its 
authority to police the rest of the online world.
  It is my hope that once the Senate passes this resolution, the House 
will move quickly to take it up and send it to the President for his 
signature because, before our country can get back on the right track, 
we must first move past the damaging regulations adopted in the waning 
days of the Obama administration.
  I thank Senator Flake for his leadership on this issue. Without his 
tireless efforts, we would not be here today, standing ready to move 
decisively toward a better future for the internet.
  I urge my colleagues to support the resolution that we will vote on 
tomorrow at noon.

                          ____________________