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116th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {       116-34

======================================================================



 
                     SAVE THE INTERNET ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

 April 5, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Pallone, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1644]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1644) to restore the open internet order of the 
Federal Communications Commission, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Oversight Findings...............................................    20
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    20
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    20
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    20
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    20
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    20
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......    20
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    21
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    21
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    21
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    22
Dissenting Views.................................................    23

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Save the Internet Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. RESTORATION OF OPEN INTERNET ORDER.

  (a) Repeal of Rule.--
          (1) In general.--The Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, 
        and Order in the matter of restoring internet freedom that was 
        adopted by the Commission on December 14, 2017 (FCC 17-166), 
        shall have no force or effect.
          (2) Prohibition on reissued rule or new rule.--The 
        Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order described in 
        paragraph (1) may not be reissued in substantially the same 
        form, and a new rule that is substantially the same as such 
        Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order may not be 
        issued, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically 
        authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of 
        this Act.
  (b) Restoration of Repealed and Amended Rules.--The following are 
restored as in effect on January 19, 2017:
          (1) The Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and 
        Order in the matter of protecting and promoting the open 
        internet that was adopted by the Commission on February 26, 
        2015 (FCC 15-24).
          (2) Part 8 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.
          (3) Any other rule of the Commission that was amended or 
        repealed by the Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order 
        described in subsection (a)(1).
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission.
          (2) Restored as in effect on january 19, 2017.--The term 
        ``restored as in effect on January 19, 2017'' means, with 
        respect to the Declaratory Ruling and Order described in 
        subsection (b)(1), to permanently reinstate the rules and legal 
        interpretations set forth in such Declaratory Ruling and Order 
        (as in effect on January 19, 2017), including any decision (as 
        in effect on such date) to apply or forbear from applying a 
        provision of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et 
        seq.) or a regulation of the Commission.
          (3) Rule.--The term ``rule'' has the meaning given such term 
        in section 804 of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 3. EXCEPTION TO ENHANCEMENT TO TRANSPARENCY REQUIREMENTS RELATING 
                    TO PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS AND NETWORK 
                    PRACTICES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

  (a) In General.--The enhancements to the transparency rule relating 
to performance characteristics and network practices of the Commission 
under section 8.3 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as 
described in paragraphs 165 through 184 of the Report and Order on 
Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order in the matter of protecting and 
promoting the open internet that was adopted by the Commission February 
26, 2015 (FCC 15-24), shall not apply to any small business.
  (b) Sunset.--Subsection (a) shall not have any force or effect after 
the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (c) Report by FCC.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the Committee on 
Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report that 
contains the recommendations of the Commission (and data supporting 
such recommendations) regarding--
          (1) whether the exception provided by subsection (a) should 
        be made permanent; and
          (2) whether the definition of the term ``small business'' for 
        purposes of such exception should be modified from the 
        definition in subsection (d)(3).
  (d) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Broadband internet access service.--The term ``broadband 
        Internet access service'' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 8.2 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.
          (2) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission.
          (3) Small business.--The term ``small business'' means any 
        provider of broadband Internet access service that has not more 
        than 100,000 subscribers aggregated over all the provider's 
        affiliates.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1644, the ``Save the Internet Act'', was introduced on 
March 8, 2019, by Rep. Doyle (D-PA), and referred to the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce. H.R. 1644, the ``Save the 
Internet Act,'' repeals the Federal Communications Commission's 
(FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom Order, restoring as of January 
19, 2017, the FCC's 2015 Net Neutrality Order, 47 Code of 
Federal Regulations Part 8, and any other rule that the 
Restoring Internet Freedom Order modified or repealed. This 
legislation would codify the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In 2015, the FCC adopted carefully-tailored rules to 
prevent specific practices that are harmful to internet 
openness--blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization--and a 
strong standard of conduct designed to prevent the deployment 
of new practices that would harm Internet openness.\1\ The 2015 
Order adopted protections preventing internet service providers 
(ISPs) from unreasonably interfering with, or unreasonably 
disadvantaging consumers' access to the content of their choice 
(i.e., the ``general conduct rule'').\2\ The FCC also enhanced 
the disclosures required under its existing transparency 
rule,\3\ and included a complaint process for resolving 
interconnection disputes that implicate protections in the 
Communications Act.\4\ In doing so, the FCC applied all of 
these protections equally to mobile and wired broadband 
service.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Federal Communications Commission, Protecting and Promoting the 
Open Internet, Report and Order, GN Docket No. 14-28, FCC 15-24, at 
para.4 (rel. Mar. 12, 2015) (2015 Order).
    \2\Id. at para.21.
    \3\Id. at para.154.
    \4\Id. at para.29.
    \5\Id. at para.92.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Through the Order, the FCC applied certain longstanding 
Commission authority to broadband internet access service, 
including Sections 201 and 202 of the Communications Act, 
giving the Commission authority to prevent unjust, 
unreasonable, and discriminatory network practices.\6\ The FCC 
applied certain provisions to support and fund broadband access 
for low-income Americans, those living in rural areas, and 
those living with disabilities.\7\ Beyond specific, identified 
protections,\8\ the FCC opted for a light-touch regulatory 
regime by forbearing from applying the majority of common 
carrier provisions in the Communications Act, including 
provisions relating to rate setting and mandatory last-mile 
unbundling.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Id. at para.292.
    \7\Id. at para.456-57 (noting the FCC's application of Section 706 
of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the FCC's application, in 
part, of Section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934); See Federal 
Communications Commission, Connect America Fund, Report and Order and 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WC Docket No. 10-90, FCC 11-161, 
at para.66 (rel. Nov. 18, 2011) (``We also have independent authority 
under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to fund the 
deployment of broadband networks.''); See Federal Communications 
Commission, Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Third Report 
and Order, Further Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration, WC 
Docket No. 11-42, FCC 16-38, at para.30-43, (rel. Apr. 27, 2016) 
(``noting the FCC's authority under Section 254 of the Communications 
Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to 
authorize the inclusion of broadband internet access service as a 
supported service in the Lifeline program'').
    \8\See 2015 Order at para.456.
    \9\See id. at para.382 (noting, ``there will be no rate regulation, 
no unbundling of last-mile facilities, no tariffing, and a carefully 
tailored application of only those Title II provisions found to 
directly further the public interest in an open Internet.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Opponents of these network neutrality protections 
challenged the 2015 Order in court.\10\ In June 2016, the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the 2015 Order in 
its entirety.\11\ Last November, the Supreme Court declined a 
petition to review the case, which effectively validated the 
Circuit Court's opinion.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\United States Telecom Ass'n v. FCC, 825 F.3d 674, 689 (D.C. 
Cir. 2016).
    \11\Id. at 744.
    \12\Supreme Court Won't Hear Net Neutrality Challenges, New York 
Times (Nov. 5, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subsequently, the FCC adopted a new order in December 2017, 
which took effect in May 2018 (RIF Order) that effectively 
repealed the 2015 Order.\13\ In the RIF Order, the FCC repealed 
its net neutrality protections, and, in the process, disclaimed 
many of its own authorities that have been central to 
supporting broadband access and adoption.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Federal Communications Commission, Restoring Internet Freedom, 
Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order, WC Docket No. 17-108, 
FCC 17-166, (rel. Jan. 4, 2018) (RIF Order).
    \14\Id. at para.239.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The repeal of the 2015 Order has had broad implications for 
consumers and small businesses accessing the internet. By 
repealing the network neutrality protections, the FCC gave up 
its ability to stop broadband internet access providers from 
blocking, throttling, and pay-for-priority arrangements. It 
also gave up its ability to address future discriminatory, 
unreasonable, or unjust network practices.\15\ It further gave 
up authority to protect people with disabilities to ensure 
their access to functionally equivalent broadband service.\16\ 
The repeal also did away with provisions that ensure ISPs fair 
access to utility poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-
way.\17\ Finally, the repeal undermined the FCC's authority to 
fund rural broadband access and adoption efforts for low-income 
individuals by relinquishing some of the FCC's key authorities 
for accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\2015 Order at para.15-24.
    \16\Compare 2015 Order at para.468 with RIF Order at para.21.
    \17\Compare 2015 Order at para.478 with RIF Order at para.21.
    \18\RIF Order at para.268.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the past two years, the lack of FCC authority over 
broadband and strong network neutrality protections left 
consumers without redress and left ISPs free to implement 
practices contrary to the public interest. At the same time, 
the increased ISP broadband network investment that was a 
driving reason for the RIF Order failed to materialize.\19\ 
H.R. 1644 builds upon the common-sense work of the 2015 Order 
by restoring and thereby locking in place its network 
neutrality protections and forbearances. This legislation 
provides market certainty and ensures that the internet will 
remain free and open.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Broadband Groups Cut Capital Expenditure Despite Net Neutrality 
Win, Financial Times (Feb. 7, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           COMMITTEE HEARINGS

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--
          (1) the following hearing was used to develop or 
        consider H.R. 1644:
    The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a 
legislative hearing on March 12, 2019 to consider the H.R. 
1644, the ``Save the Internet Act'' entitled ``Legislating to 
Safeguard the Free and Open Internet.'' The Subcommittee 
received testimony from:
           Francella Ochillo, Vice President of Policy 
        and General Counsel, National Hispanic Media Coalition;
           Matt Wood, Vice President of Policy and 
        General Counsel, Free Press Action;
           Gregory Green, Chief Executive Officer, 
        Fatbeam; and
           Robert M. McDowell, Senior Fellow, Hudson 
        Institute, Partner, Cooley LLP.
          (2) the following related hearings were held:
    The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a 
hearing on February 7, 2019, entitled ``Preserving an Open 
Internet for Consumers, Small Businesses, and Free Speech.'' At 
the hearing, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology 
considered the effects of the 2017 repeal of the 2015 Order, 
and why restoring the 2015 Order will reduce uncertainty and 
promote free speech. The Subcommittee received testimony from:
           Denelle Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, 
        Mozilla;
           Joseph Franell, Chief Executive Officer, 
        Eastern Oregon Telecom;
           Jessica Gonzalez, Vice President of Strategy 
        and Senior Counsel, Free Press and Free Press Action 
        Fund;
           Ruth Livier, Actress, Writer, and UCLA 
        Doctoral Student;
           Tom Wheeler, Fellow, Brookings Institution; 
        and
           Michael Power, Chief Executive Officer, 
        NCTA--the Internet & Television Association President.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    H.R. 1644, the ``Save the Internet Act of 2019'', was 
introduced on March 8, 2019, by Rep. Doyle (D-PA), and referred 
to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill was referred 
to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on March 
9, 2019. Following legislative hearings, the Subcommittee met 
in open markup session on H.R. 1644 on March 26, 2019, pursuant 
to notice, for consideration of the bill. Subsequently, the 
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology agreed to a 
motion by Mr. Doyle, Chairman of the Subcommittee, to favorably 
forward H.R. 1644 to the full Committee on Energy and Commerce 
without amendment.
    The full Committee met in open markup session, pursuant to 
notice, on April 3, 2019, to consider H.R. 1644. At the 
conclusion of consideration and markup of the bill, the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce agreed to a motion by Mr. 
Pallone, Chairman of the Committee, to order favorably reported 
H.R. 1644, amended, to the House.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list each record vote 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. The 
Committee advises that there were 13 record votes taken on H.R. 
1644, including a motion by Mr. Pallone ordering H.R. 1644 
favorably reported to the House, amended. The motion on final 
passage of the bill was approved by a record vote of 30 yeas to 
22 nays. The following are the record votes taken during 
Committee consideration, including the names of those members 
voting for and against:


[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                           OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 2(b)(1) 
of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portion of the report.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    Pursuant to 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its own the 
estimate of new budget authority, entitlement authority, or tax 
expenditures or revenues contained in the cost estimate 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.
    The Committee has requested but not received from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office a statement as to 
whether this bill contains any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general 
performance goal or objective of this legislation is to restore 
the Report and Order on Remand, Declaration Ruling, and Order 
in the matter of protecting and promoting the open internet 
that was adopted by the FCC on February 26, 2015, such that the 
FCC may not revisit or otherwise modify such Report and Order 
on Remand, Declaration Ruling, and Order.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII, no provision of 
H.R. 1644 is known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, including any program that was included in a report to 
Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or the 
most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII, the Committee 
adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

       EARMARK, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF BENEFITS

    Pursuant to clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI, the 
Committee finds that H.R. 1644 contains no earmarks, limited 
tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title; table of contents

    Section 1 designates that the short title may be cited as 
the ``Save the Internet Act''.

Sec. 2. Restoration of Open Internet Order

    Paragraph (a) of this section repeals and renders without 
effect the Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order in 
the matter of restoring internet freedom that was adopted by 
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 
2017. This section also prohibits the FCC from reissuing in 
substantially the same form a new rule that is substantially 
the same as those repealed in this section.
    The Committee intends this section to prohibit the FCC from 
repealing, in whole or in part, any rule repealed by the 
Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order in the matter 
of restoring internet freedom that was adopted by the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017.
    Paragraph (b) of this section restores as in effect on 
January 19, 2017, the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory 
Ruling, and Order in the matter of protecting and promoting the 
open internet that was adopted by the FCC on February 26, 2015. 
This section also restores as in effect on January 19, 2017, 
Part 8 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and any 
other rule of the Commission that was amended or repealed by 
the Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order described 
here.
    Paragraph (c)(1) of this section defines the term 
``Commission'' to mean the Federal Communications Commission.
    Paragraph (c)(2) of this section defines the term 
``restored as in effect on January 19, 2017,'' as permanently 
reinstating the rules and legal interpretations from the 
Declaratory Ruling and Order referenced in section 2(b)(1) as 
they were in effect on January 19, 2017, including any decision 
to apply or forbear from applying a provision of the 
Communications Act of 1934 or a regulation of the Commission. 
This definition does not apply to the Report and Order on 
Remand described in section 2(b)(1).
    The Committee intends that paragraph (c)(2) would have the 
effect of permanently prohibiting the Commission from reversing 
any decision within the Declaratory Ruling and Order to apply 
or forbear from applying a provision of the Communications Act 
of 1934 or a regulation of the Commission, as such decisions to 
apply or forbear from applying were in effect on January 19, 
2017. The Committee intends to permanently prohibit reversal of 
such decisions even if the Commission stated in such 
Declaratory Ruling and Order that it was only forbearing at 
this time, for now, or pending some other action.
    Notably, paragraph (c)(2) does not limit in anyway the 
Report and Order on Remand, and therefore, the Committee 
intends that the FCC should retain the authority to adopt rules 
as appropriate to effectuate the provisions of the 
Communications Act of 1934 applied in the Declaratory Ruling 
and Order, consistent with applicable law.
    Paragraph (c) of this section defines the term ``rule'' to 
have the meaning given the term in section 804 of Title 5 of 
the United States Code.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    There are no changes in existing law made by the bill H.R. 
1644.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    As Chairman Pallone astutely noted, H.R. 1644 is not 
necessary to preserve a free and open internet.\1\ The internet 
grew to become the single most important driver of economic 
growth, job creation, and a better quality of life for all 
Americans before the FCC imposed heavy-handed Title II 
regulations on ISPs in 2015. The FCC's 2015 Order, under the 
direction of President Obama, was a sharp but brief detour from 
years of bipartisan consensus that the internet should be 
regulated as an ``information service'' under Title I.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Letter from the Honorable Frank Pallone to Julius Genachowski, 
Chairman, FCC (May 28, 2010) (``Classifying broadband Internet access 
services as telecommunications services that are subject to the 
provisions of Title II of the Communications Act may have far reaching 
implications. In fact, I am concerned that a near-term effect of your 
announced proposal to (re)classify these services is to create 
uncertainty--something that is sure to adversely affect investment 
decisions and job creation, both of which are in short supply right 
now.'')
    \2\See, e.g., A Majority Staff Report of the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, Senator Ron 
Johnson, Chairman, Regulating the Internet: How the White House Bowled 
Over FCC Independence (Feb. 27, 2016), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/
download/regulating-the-internet-how-the-white-house-bowled-over-fcc-
independence; Restoring Internet Freedom Order at para.para.6-19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the two years of the Obama FCC's Title regulations, 
broadband network investment declined by over $3 billion--or 
more than 5 percent.\3\ This was the first such decline outside 
of a recession in the internet era and was due, in large part, 
to the uncertainty Title II imposed on ISPs. In addition to 
impairing investment, Title II hindered innovation under the 
FCC's amorphous general conduct standard.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Patrick Brogan, U.S. Broadband Investment Rebounded in 2017, US 
Telecom Research Brief (Oct. 18, 2018), https://www.ustelecom.org/wp-
content/uploads/2018/12/USTelecom-Research-Brief-Capex-2017.pdf.
    \4\2015 Order at para.138 (``Below we discuss a non-exhaustive list 
of factors we will use to assess such practices'') (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When the FCC repealed the heavy-handed rules in 2017 as 
part of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the FCC restored 
certainty for ISPs and consumers alike, and investment in 
broadband rebounded.\5\ The repeal also did not adversely 
affect low-income consumers or people with disabilities. 
Universal Service support for broadband and functional 
equivalent services protections were in place before the 2015 
Order, and continue to be after its repeal.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Patrick Brogan, Broadband Investment in 2018 Continues Upswing, 
US Telecom (Feb. 7, 2019), https://www.ustelecom.org/broadband-
investment-in-2018-continues-on-upswing/.
    \6\See, e.g., Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et 
al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC 
Rcd 17663 (2011) (modernizing the universal service system to ensure 
that robust, affordable voice and broadband service, both fixed and 
mobile, are available to Americans throughout the nation); 
Telecommunications Relay Services, and Speech-to-Speech Services for 
Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CC Docket No. 98-67, 
15 FCC Rcd 5140 (establishing funding from the telecommunications relay 
service (TRS) fund for intrastate and interstate video relay service 
(VRS) calls); Telecommunications Relay Services, and Speech-to-Speech 
Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CG 
Docket No. 03-123, Declaratory Ruling, 22 FCC Rcd 379 (Dec. 20, 2006) 
(clarifying that Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone relay 
service is a type of telecommunications relay service eligible for 
compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1644 does not ``codify'' the FCC's Open Internet 
Order. In re-imposing Title II, H.R. 1644 gives the FCC near 
unlimited authority to regulate the internet; from decisions 
over content, to imposing taxes and fees for internet access. 
This is because the plain language of H.R. 1644 does not 
abrogate the FCC's authority to revisit prior forbearance 
determinations, including those made in the 2015 Order.\7\ Even 
if a reviewing court found that the language prohibits the FCC 
from reversing past forbearance decisions, it does not prevent 
the FCC from imposing substantially similar regulations under 
the sweeping Title II authority. This means that the FCC could 
impose rate regulations on broadband or impose content 
restrictions under areas of Title II that the FCC did not 
forbear from in its 2015 Order. Further, there is no way to 
determine what exactly H.R. 1644 codifies. The 2015 Order, 
which H.R. 1644 claims to codify, indicates that the FCC 
forbore from the application of ``over 700 Commission rules and 
regulations.''\8\ However, neither the 2015 Order nor H.R. 1644 
list out those 700 provisions of law. Despite multiple requests 
from the Minority, the Majority refused to produce this list, 
so there is no way to know which regulations H.R. 1644 would 
immediately impose on ISPs, and which regulations it would not.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Congressional Research Service, Question Regarding H.R 1644, 
(April 2, 2019).
    \8\2015 Order at para.5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than attempt to codify a 313-page Order written by 
unelected bureaucrats, the Committee should at least examine 
other bills introduced on this topic that address net 
neutrality without drastically expanding the government's 
ability to regulate the Internet.\9\ In order to protect 
consumers from potential blocking, throttling, or paid 
prioritization by broadband providers, there is no need for 
legislation that allows the federal government to seize control 
over the internet with excessive regulations--which could slow 
down economic growth, destroy jobs, and stifle innovation. 
Instead, any legislation in this space must ensure the internet 
continues to flourish in order to help expand broadband access, 
bridge the digital divide, and realize the next wave of 
innovation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\See H.R. 1006, 116th Cong. (2019) (introduced by Rep. Robert E. 
Latta (OH-05)), H.R. 1096, 116th Cong. (2019) (introduced by Rep. Cathy 
McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)), and H.R. 1101, 116th Cong. (2019) 
(introduced by Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02)).

                                   Greg Walden,
                                           Republican Leader.
                                   Robert E. Latta,
                                           Republican Leader, 
                                               Subcommittee on 
                                               Communications and 
                                               Technology.

                                  [all]