Government by regulation took two strikes in the House of Representatives this week. House Republicans voted to block, both, the FCC’s new net neutrality rules and the EPA’s onerous greenhouse gas emissions’ regulations.
From the Wall Street Journal, “House Votes to Block FCC’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules:”
House lawmakers approved an amendment to a wider spending bill that stated that no funds included in the bill could be used by the FCC to implement the network neutrality regulations. The vote is the only way the Republican-controlled House could prevent the policy from taking effect. The amendment was successfully added to a spending bill to fund the federal government through the remaining months of fiscal 2011.
From the Wall Street Journal, “House Votes to Block Greenhouse-Gas Rules:”
The House voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, refineries and other stationary sources. … the measure was proposed as an amendment to a spending bill that will finance government operations through the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.
These regulations have quite a few things in common:
Both represent government by regulation in defiance of Congress. They are attempts by the Obama administration and the rules’ supporters to impose new laws and regulations without having been given the necessary authority by Congress. Net Neutrality rules were pushed through the FCC during a midnight ruling, in defiance of Congress, the courts, and the will of the people. Similarly, the EPA greenhouse gas emissions’ regulations represent an attempt to introduce cap-and-tax, a legislation which died in Congress, through the backdoor.
Also, both are based on protecting Americans from poorly defined threats. Net neutrality rules represent a preemptive move to protect consumers against a potential threat by Internet providers to block competitor’s content or impose censorship on the internet, with little evidence to warrant such fears. In a similar vein, the EPA’s assessment of the endangerment of greenhouse gases and the resulting rules are currently being challenged in court, as it remains unclear to what extent the regulated emissions are harmful to humans.
Lastly, both of these rules would result in rendering American companies less competitive, the loss and decreased creation of American jobs, and higher costs to American consumers. It’s only right that the House struck out against these two rulings. Whether the Democrat-controlled Senate will allow these measures to move forward remains questionable.