By Josh Smith, National Journal
BOSTON – Even as the House voted to repeal federal Internet access rules Friday, top Democratic policymakers called free and open communications a vital part of American democracy.
Speaking at Free Pressâ€™s National Conference for Media Reform, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she was pleased by Democratic opposition to the GOP-backed resolution, which cleared the House Friday afternoon. The resolution would nullify Federal Communications Commission net neutrality regulations that aim to prevent Internet service providers from blocking certain websites.
â€œNo one should be guarding the gate on the Internet,â€ Pelosi said. She said despite the House vote, the resolution isnâ€™t likely to gain support in the Senate. â€œI donâ€™t think this bill is going anyplace,â€ Pelosi predicted.
Critics of the regulations say they unnecessarily interfere in the private market. Republicans who sponsored the House legislation argued that the FCC overstepped its authority to enact rules that aren’t needed.
Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps, who voted to enact the rules in December but advocated for more stringent measures, said net neutrality is one of many communications principles that must be protected.
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