Daines Slams Obama Administration’s Doublespeak on Internet Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today slammed the Obama administration’s empty rhetoric on job creation and innovation following the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recent move to impose unprecedented regulations on the Internet.

During today’s Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Daines stressed the importance of a free and open Internet and shed light on the severe contradictions between President Obama’s stated mission and the recent actions taken by his administration.

The Internet is unconstrained innovation. However, I think many of us are concerned that the Obama Administration and the FCC decided to step in and take over Internet regulatory control,” Daines stated. “It’s really reconciling and justifying how we can spur high-tech job creation and innovation, while turning a blind eye to what is happening at the FCC, that I believe will negate this effort.”

Daines pointed to the Federal Communications Commission 317-page regulation of the Internet as a direct contradiction to the President’s stated mission of demonstrating a “continued commitment to broadband telecommunications as a driver of economic development, job creation, and technological innovation.”

Daines stressed how troubling a government takeover of the Internet would be for the thousands of Montanans who rely on the Internet for economic opportunity and access to critical communication services. 

“I’m just concerned that the FCC is stepping in to regulate something that it doesn’t understand fully, and number two, it can’t keep up with the rapid change and nature of the Internet,” Daines stated.

In the hearing, Daines also criticized the Obama administration’s ongoing failure to fill top leadership roles at the Department of the Transportation, especially in light of a recent Montana oil spill in the Yellowstone River.

Daines grilled Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on reasons why the White House has failed to nominate permanent administrators for major operating agencies, including at the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Daines noted that without continued leadership, Americans cannot expect these agencies to be proactive in effectively serving the interests of the American people.

Video of Senator Daines’ remarks from today’s hearing is available here.