GOP leader John Boehner vows to eliminate ‘net neutrality’

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 18:18 EDT
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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) vowed Monday to eliminate net neutrality rules recently enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), referring to the regulations as a “government takeover of the Internet.”

“Right now, freedom and free expression are under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio,” Rep. Boehner said during a speech at the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention.

“We see this threat in how the FCC is creeping further into the free market by trying to regulate the Internet,” the congressman continued. “Network neutrality, they call it. It’s a series of regulations that empower the federal bureaucracy to regulate Internet content and viewpoint discrimination. The rules are written vaguely, of course, to allow the FCC free reign.”

The regulations, approved by the FCC in December 2010, require internet service providers (ISPs) to allow their customers to have access all legal online content, applications and services over their wired networks and prohibit unreasonable network discrimination.

It is unclear what the FCC considers “reasonable” discrimination and it is likely to make such decisions on a case-by-case basis.

“There is no compromise or middle ground when it comes to protecting our most basic freedoms,” Rep. Boehner said, adding that the Republican majority in the House was committed to fighting the new regulations.

“We’re also going to do what we can to see that no taxpayer dollars are used to fund these net neutrality rules,” he said.

Rep. Boehner speech came amid a push by House Republicans to overturn the new rules. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology announced Sunday that it would hold a vote on a resolution of disapproval to reverse the FCC’s Internet regulations.

“It’s precautionary,” Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), a prominent supporter of net neutrality, told Ars Technica over the weekend. “It’s a very clear path if you have paid prioritization, you have a fast lane that content providers can pay for. If that happens, then it’s kind of all over.”

“So this is about keeping the Internet the way it is,” Sen. Franken said. “That’s what net neutrality is. It’s about maintaining the architecture we have, which has created all this innovation and which doesn’t favor the big corporate interests over individuals and small innovators, keeping it the free zone that it is.”

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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  • Anonymous

    100% Orwellian ‘doublespeak’. What Boehner is claiming is absolutely, perfectly 100% the opposite of the truth. It really is fairly amazing. Every Dem should be crushing him on this, in a much more direct way than Franken, if it’s possible for any dem to do so.. “War is Peace”…

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NOZNKTI6HAEMMIGFGPGHPRYSLI DaleF

    Maybe we should get rid of the 1st Amendment too, as that can be construed as regulation too with Republican logic(Republican logic is an oxymoron). Net Neutrality is a simple, common sense principle. What this is about is making the Internet into a lucrative toll highway for their Corporate Overlords.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Yeah, Boner would say something like that. But the question is, was he crying when he said it?

    Maybe, somebody ought to eliminate his daily intake of booze.

  • gypski®

    The American people vow to get rid of John Boehner the very next chance they get. And we will keep the internet neutral John the Drunk.

  • jsixis

    It is all about controlling the message and Republicans can’t have FACTS disputing their claims

  • Anonymous

    This is what the law should be. “customers to have access all legal online content, applications and services over their wired networks” with no exceptions, proxies, or filtering.

  • RottenJohnny

    “H,i my name is John Boehner and I’m for sale to the highest bidder, actually, any bidder, because I know money is way more important, to me, than doing the right thing for the people of this country. Business is the only thing that matters in this country, and all the people complaining about business ruining the economy don’t understand how hard business has it in this country, and they should just shut up and go away. So I’m selling myself to any and all businesses so I can uphold the true American dream: a mansion on the beach with lots of nekid women and a full bar for my retirement years.”

  • Anonymous

    If you live in Oregon, please email Rep. Walden:


  • DesertSun59

    “Right now, freedom and free expression are under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio.”

    Utter crap. It is WELL ESTABLISHED that the reason the GOP doesn’t want Net Neutrality rules in place is because then their corporate masters can start slicing and dicing the Internet into neat little price rules. The average US Internet user will soon be paying twice as much for the same speed and access or less speed. In the meantime, S. Korea and Finland continue to be number one in Internet speed and access.

    Yep, it’s all about the money. MONEY.

  • http://madisonleathersmith.com leathersmith

    Boehner: government takeover of the Internet.

    bagger: get the government out of my Darpanet

  • Anonymous

    Yeah right!!! anything that would be a benefit to the poor or lower middle class that asshat boner would just naturally be against. Of course if it would be a benefit to the rich and powerful then the prick would be all for ti.

  • Anonymous

    Randalinda Paul & his Chamber of Commerce must be pleased.
    That Bastard.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/SHXBD7A4SZTHOYA6HLWMSZUR7M Harry

    “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”
    Benito Mussolini

  • Busto

    Have you ever been to “Boner”‘s district? They love him down there in “North Kentucky”, why, he’s just “one o’ dem good ole boys”. I don’t really see him going anywhere. Unless he chooses to not seek re-election at some point, I’m fairly certain he’ll hold his seat for a long time.

  • Alice Mechler

    Well, I guess the lobbyists from Verizon, Comcast and AT&T have paid enough to Bonehead Boehner that he will try anything. Of course, while you and I will be paying enormous amounts for Internet access, he will be sitting pretty with his ‘free’ access. Where I live, I can either get AT&T or a small cable company (that serves rural areas) for access. I quit AT&T long ago because of their support of Rep-thugs and asinine legislation. Remember when Congress broke up the monopoly on telephone service, and a gazillion ‘Baby Bells’ popped up? Now AT&T has taken over most of them, including where I live…and there is a monopoly again. Oh well, I write letters, I scream at the TV and computer….and little changes for the better.

  • Anonymous

    Republicans are the greatest threat to America since it’s inception. Just think the opposite of what they say and you’ll get close to the truth. They would deragulate everything so private corporations can take over everything. I think it’s called fascism. God help all of us.

  • Tom

    “Right now, freedom and free expression are under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio,” Rep. Boehner said during a speech at the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention.

    Notice he didn’t say anything about an average citizen sitting in their living room, or a library, or a school, or maybe an intent cafe. No the average citizen doesn’t even cross that asshats mind. It’s the corporation, the corporate interest, always.

    Folks, we don’t even exist in the minds of these people.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Religious broadcasters convention says all I need to hear.

  • Anonymous

    Boner is well, ya all know, just a simple “c**t in kochsucking service to his masters. Let’s see him out and good-by.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Doge of Yettis

    “So this is about keeping the Internet the way it is,” Sen. Franken ..

    Conservatism (Latin: conservare, “to preserve”)[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are,” …and some conservatives are full of shit…

  • gypski®

    Maybe Johnnie boy needs a thorough rectal check of all his activities and connections. I know there is something there that can bring his retirement. they just need to look a little closer is all.

  • Anonymous

    Walden couldn’t find his ass with both hands. He’s utterly useless. And what do you think we should say to him in an email?

  • Anonymous

    Old white farts strike again: they shouldn’t be allowed to legislate anything they don’t use, or understand.

  • Anonymous

    Email him what? Walden couldn’t find his ass with both hands. He’s utterly useless.

  • Anonymous

    Give it time — all that boozing and smoking (and bad karma) will catch up with him. I have a feeling he spends so much time in a tanning booth because he’s trying to cover up the jaundice caused by his cirrhosis of the liver.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    OMG it’s the FCC regulations that are keeping the Internet free and open. The regulations benefit all Internet end users. Once they’re removed we’re all going to get royally screwed by our ISP’s! Prices will go through the roof and ISP’s will be able to restrict content. Once again the GOP gives big business a license to screw us all!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    Yeah, and not killing each other – that’s a regulation too!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    Maybe his booze intake should be increased…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    Yes, a pattern of behavior has definitely been established…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    FACTS are for sissies. REAL fascists go for “Truthiness!”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    We need leaders who have never set foot in a tanning booth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    AT&T is the devil.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t the republicans just send in the military and have done with it! If this idiot had his way… America would be a dictatorship and only the wealthy would have any rights!!

  • http://bigdanblogger.blogspot.com/ Big Dan

    Does anyone think there’s a problem with the internet? The Republicans do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, they want to screw us! Period!

    Suddenly, the Republicans come out of nowhere and say there’s a problem with the internet. And they need to “change” it. That SERIOUSLY means they want to screw ALL OF US! You don’t have to be an Einstein, people!!!

  • Anonymous

    Does Boner ever give any thought at all to what this country is REALLY concerned about? {Deeeeep sarcasm}

    He really is good for absolutely nothing at all. {Huuuuuge understatement}

    He knows how to drink though. He knows how to cry like a blithering idiot though. He knows how dress like a used car salesman though. And he knows how to be absolutely worthless at anything else.

    He and Darrell Issa should get a room.

  • Anonymous

    Boehner thinks that enforcing equal throughput and access in private subnets is a “government takover of the internet”?
    We taxpayers paid for it and built it. We can demand that his funders and bribers, some large private providers, use it fairly or not at all.
    And that part about keeping government money out of net neutrality, that just allows private interests to go there unopposed. What a complete doublespeaking lying sellout this GOP leader is.

  • Dolmance

    They were paid off. And they want you to believe that’s what Jesus would do.

  • Ed Dominguez

    Once again he is doing the work of his friends. The man already said SO BE IT when it comes to jobs as long the jobs go on line or overseas he is one happy son of a bitch.

  • DriveBy

    When the RW talks about “Freedom”, you know they’re carrying water for corporate fascism. The RW’s idea of “Freedom of the internet” is to let the Koch Brothers (or Rupert Murdoch) have the sole control over the internet.

  • Anonymous

    So Boehner (“Bow Nur”) sees the internet as a “basic freedom” eh?

    That begs the question: when did he sober up enough to leave the tanning salon in D.C.?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe he will hold his seat, but not his Leadership: they are all soon relegated to the dust bins of history, along with the creepy Dems, led by the cvil eunt, Hillary.

    Bet the next we see of Obama after he leaves office? He outs himself. I mean it…..too bad he didn’t do it before the election, they couldn’t have used his buxxbuddy Rahm to remind him of the video from that “men’s club” in Chicago….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Trailertrash/100001877745318 Jacob Trailertrash

    So what else is new? Boner wants freedom for corporations but not for we the people who he disdains.

    Why don’t Boner and pals just get rid of the FCC and be done with it? I swear I’d like to go ten rounds with that guy in Chicago, on TV. I am 69 and have heart disease but I’ll still do a KO on his worthless butt. His suntan will be imprinted on the canvas deck for generations to come. Wow. Like a shrine to NeoConism. Kind of like a “Neo Shroud” but not of Turin……. Pun intended. Wow.

    OH by the way Mr. Boner, the internet was not invented by any telecom company and thus does not belong to them. Their business should be limited to supplying connections of quality. They should be entirely disinterested in who is talking to who or establishing any sort of internet hierarchy. OH I forgot…. They want the money. Yes the greatest of motivations. God Ble$$ American phone companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Trailertrash/100001877745318 Jacob Trailertrash

    We need term limits. I mean, seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Trailertrash/100001877745318 Jacob Trailertrash

    Yeah you know there are plenty of republicans, workers just like us, who are beginning to see the light. Hopefully those in Boner’s district in Ohio will kick his worthless ass out of DC. OH I forgot, he’ll come right back, reincarnated as a lobbyist.

    Will someone please make this bad dream go away???

  • Anonymous

    Republicans should distance themselves from him. He just conned a crowd that has the ability to do some real damage to the party when they realize they’ve been lied to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Trailertrash/100001877745318 Jacob Trailertrash

    Yeah but how do we do it? How does anyone confront a big shot? They are careful to stay insulated, sometimes by goons.

  • http://twitter.com/CurleyUS World Memorial Acct.

    Fly-by-night net freedom topics in congress TODAY as in NOW http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Telecom/030211_FCC/hjrES37.pdf POSTPONE res 37 until the Tea Party and WI Union have their act together.

  • Anonymous

    I have noticed the deteriorating selection on satellite and cable. More infomercials, more worthless programming. When high speed connections are generally available most will migrate to the internet wiping out satellite and cable. Their natural advantages of controlling the pipeline will end. Boehner cares deeply about these corporate interests and the lining of his pocket and little to nothing about freedom. His biggest concern is how to carve up the internet for his corporate chums.

  • Anonymous

    Now that Senator Ted Stevens is gone someone has to unclog the tubes of the internets.

  • Anonymous

    “Network neutrality, they call it. It’s a series of regulations that empower the federal bureaucracy to regulate Internet content and viewpoint discrimination. The rules are written vaguely, of course, to allow the FCC free reign.”

    Net neutrality only gives the FCC the ability to prevent network providers from blocking content, it doesn’t give the FCC the power to block any content. About as clear as it gets. Next.

  • Anonymous

    “Yeah you know there are plenty of republicans, workers just like us, who are beginning to see the light.”

    Nope, we’re doomed.

  • Anonymous

    If you have a “law” regulating, you have a choke point, a filter, whatever you care to call it. Leave it free and open. Attach another revenue stream full of traps and tricks on top of what is already extracted and, the fix is in. The Masters of the Universe can’t let an opportunity like this slip by, after all ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ has worked for them for decades.

    Walk like an Egyptian.

  • George

    If Boner gets his way sites like this and any others fighting the plutocracy will be very hard to use.

  • Anonymous

    All the news com

  • Anonymous

    You got that right. They’ll shut everyone down.

  • Anonymous

    Painfully ironic isn’t it? “Conservatives seek to preserve” things liberals/progressives fought like hell to achieve in the first place.

  • trank

    but a thousand radio stations get the boner’s back on this all day long and that’s why the motherfuckers can lie like they do- and no one ever pickets those radio stations, the unchallenged corporate megaphones that got us into this mess.

  • Anonymous

    “government takeover of the Internet.”

    Can’t these disingenuous idiots posit an argument without framing it as a government takeover of something?

    I guess this shows just how stupid/ignorant they believe their base is!

    Then again, if someone can be convinced by Glenn Beck to buy coins from Goldline at three times the melt value…

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Oh ted, ted, ted, now that you are gone who will act technologically challenged fro the people of the United States? Wait, I see a bold leader taking the first steps. Does he not know how technology is used? Check Does he get easily confused? Check And most importantly of all: Does he have the protection of big business interests at heart? Checkmate I think it’s love!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t he just come out and say he’s going to do all he can for the corporations of this country? Let’s have a little transparency.

  • Anonymous

    It will be President Boehner soon. One of Cheneys Minot Bardsdale nukes will enable that. When Boehners out of town and Obama and Biden are both together in DC watch out. The real coup is coming soon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6VIII2XPU4HUPLANTLEJGSYN7A jARED

    The fact that Democrats cannot make a rational, obvious counterargument to this can only mean that they agree.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PCHLMPBJKYTW3LJBHZEZMO3TXQ What Ever

    Perhaps the “Net” should vow to eliminate John Boehner.

  • christoofar

    Could this Corporate Koch-$ucking crybaby be any more obviou$ as to who he really work$ for.?
    Hint: no it is not the American people.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure you can lay blame on party politics. The parties are two sides of the same coin. Ignore what they say and watch what they do. The political class has failed us in the worst possible ways but, it can and, will get worse unless we all “Walk Like an Egyptian”.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Yes, to lethal quantities.

  • Guest

    Hear, hear! dems and repubs sleep together!

    I hope you got my reply to the post I left you last night jARED. I did not mean to insult one of the sane voices here in these forums.

  • Guest

    and the dems will sheepishly comply. Seriously.. the repubs and dems work


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    Boehner wants a corporate take over of the Internet. Why doesn’t he just say that?

  • Anonymous

    This is just further evidence the Republican Party is the greatest internal or external threat to the People of the United States, and to the United States of America enduring as a free nation.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    Seriously? How long have you been paying attention to Politics? Asking the Democratic Party to act in unison on a complex issue is just not gonna happen. The constituencies that make up the democratic party are too varied and are not sophisticated enough to play hard ball politics. One only has to compare their capitulation to W’s tax cuts to the Repugnants disciplined application of No to any Obama proposal to understand that you cannot hold them to the same standard of behavior.

    The GOP is comprised of four distinct interest groups: The Hyper Wealthy, Corporatists, Social/Religious Conservatives and the Gun Nuts. Each group has an unyielding allegiance to their cause and unless legislation proposed by one faction undermines the core beliefs of the other they are going to stick together. They are predominately from the same tribe (white Europeans) and that makes them genetically unlikely to stray from the group and challenge the leadership for that is where they derive a sense of identity and safety.

    Compare that membership to the composition of the Democratic Party: Labor Unions, Civil Rights and minority groups, Peace Activists, Environmentalists, Social Progressives, and members of the Arts and Entertainment community. The diversity of the group makes it difficult for them to SEE let alone understand their common interest therefore dogging the Democrats for not having a coherent counter argument is unrealistic.

    History teaches us that the Democrats are a people driven party where their leaders/representatives respond to the demands of “the people” whereas the GOP is a top down party where the leadership communicates the agenda to their sheeple.

    The answer to preserving Net Neutrality is to keep the pressure on ALL elected officials 24/7/365 least we find ourselves having to resort to snail mail to communicate with each other!

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    Yep I wonder if Joey is aware that he should not be in the same room as the O man as often as he was the last 2 years?

  • Anonymous

    Lucky, you beat me to exact the same comment. Thanks for saving me some typing. It’s like he stole the statement that Franken *should* have made. Then again, perhaps Boner was referring to the freedom of large corporate donors to further control content and suppress dissent.

  • Anonymous

    What about congress critters that have never written a line of computer code? That’s more relevant than stepping inside a radio or TV station (and I’ve been in both). Perhaps we out to mandate that critters who run for congress pass a technical acuity test to run. They often legislate for things they don’t understand. Let’s keep the Internet the way it is an level playing field for everyone though I would like to see the Internet be put in the commons then the pipes leased to the telecoms. It’s become too essential to everyday life.

  • Anonymous

    Because he must use the fear card tactic by saying it will be a government takeover of the internet, that feeds his base what they want to hear.
    Same thing with health care, they called Obama care government run health care when it is clearly a huge boost to the greedy insurance corporations.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/HB54FIA4T4YOT2FAMVYYAKE2RQ Sean

    How will this create jobs?

  • WaStConcerned

    …..so typical…..again, touting “freedom” under the guise of corporate control….

    It amazes me how they can twist “freedom” of the people into “freedom of the corporations to continue to rob us”…. Those corps that have made trillions off the “free” internet seek to further control it with their charges to transmit their “own” “stuff” and have it take priority.

    In this case, as in so many others, LACK OF REGULATION INVITES ABUSE BY CORPORATIONS.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SKSKUKDSIKPALA6NLX4CQVGVEU Jim Waldrop

    Although I’m against net neutrality because I think it is a giant waste of time, Sen. Franken’s comments appear to be more on topic. Unfortunately, the FCC has created this distraction from real issues like increasing broadband access. This article sums it up well: http://www.hostmycalls.com/2011/03/01/net-neutrality-%e2%80%93-the-pot-holed-road-to-nowhere/.

  • Anonymous

    “Republican logic is an oxymoron” – I want that on a bumper sticker!