A bombastic Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) unloaded on the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during a congressional hearing Wednesday on net neutrality.
“You’re playing God with the Internet!” Gohmert shouted during testimony by FCC chair Tom Wheeler.
Wheeler, appearing before Congress for the fifth time in eight days, testified that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 grants congressional authority to the FCC to enact new rules ensuring access to online content, reported National Journal.
He told Gohmert – who, like other Republicans, claims that net neutrality overburdens Internet providers with government regulations – that online companies will still have freedom to experiment with new business models.
The new rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking websites or selectively slow down traffic to encourage websites to pay more for faster content delivery.
“I would submit to you that something in 1996 had nothing to do with wanting you to take charge of the Internet,” Gohmert said.
“I would also thank you for your willingness to leave some room for exploratory business models and new business models — that’s really so gracious of you,” he continued. “Because before the FCC stepped in, everyone was able to explore new business models!”
Watch video of his remarks posted online by American Commitment: