Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in support of Representative Adam Kinzinger’s (IL-16) No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, a bill of the Innovation Initiative.
Full remarks are below, or watch online here.
“Mr. Chairman — the biggest goal of the Innovation Initiative is to bring government into the modern age — making the policies that come out of Washington reflect and adapt to the world today.
Now, what has shaped our world more in the 21st century than the Internet? Education. Commerce. Communication. Information. Everything in our lives has changed because of the Internet.
How did the Internet become something so important — so useful — and so widespread? Government left it alone. It expanded to reach and help billions because bureaucrats weren’t allowed to micromanage it.
You know — I remember hearing this from AOL founder Steve Case. Back in 1985, he said that only 3 percent of people were online for an average of just one hour a week. Today, the Internet has reached about 40 percent of the world. That is an amazing growth.
Unfortunately — the freedom that led to this amazing success is at risk. Right now — it’s an open question whether the FCC can regulate Internet rates — and Congress needs to clarify that it has no authority to do so.
Because if the FCC were to regulate rates — it could harm every American across the country that has a wifi connection by imposing artificial restraints on their plans and service options. It would stop needed investments in expanding and improving the Internet. And it would block innovation that we depend on to create better and faster Internet.
Regulating rates means that bureaucrats think they can manage the Internet better than the private sector, which has already brought fast and affordable connections to millions across the country.
Now — the FCC and President Obama promised they wouldn’t regulate broadband Internet rates from their offices in Washington. And that’s a good thing.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned. I don’t know about you Mr. Chairman — but after seven years of broken promises — I have a hard time trusting that this Administration will follow through.
So today — we’re voting to hold the Administration to its word. They promised not to regulate rates? This legislation bars the FCC from regulating rates. It’s as simple as that — and I can’t imagine why anyone would object.
So I want to thank Representative Kinzinger for his work on this legislation — holding the FCC and the Obama Administration accountable.
The Innovation Initiative is all about giving the American people the freedom to grow and prosper. With this — the Internet stays a little freer. Executive overreach is held back. And we leave space for the people to innovate without the federal government trying to control it all.
I yield back.”