After the election, it seemed like the White House might have gotten the message. Obama said “the overwhelming message that I hear from the voters is that we…want you to work harder to arrive at consensus. We want you to focus completely on jobs and the economy…” White House officials were reported to be “deeply concerned about winning back political independents”. The FCC also seemed to get it. Chairman Genachowski said “At the FCC, our primary focus is simple: the economy and jobs.”
Message received, right?
Now, in an astounding act of political and economic deafness, FCC Chairman Genachowski has apparently “touted net-neutrality regulations as one of the most important policies the country can adopt to improve its broadband deployment efforts”, and The Politico reports that they are “putting together a net neutrality proposal” which would apply net neutrality rules to wireless. And they may may try to jam it through in December.
Why now? “Lawmakers will already be gone for the Thanksgiving holiday, giving the FCC a small window to release a controversial order without immediate harsh reactions from Capitol Hill Republicans.”
I’m not sure why the administration thinks Congressional Republicans will let this happen. There may not be an Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman yet, but there isn’t much daylight between the candidates on this issue. If the FCC goes too far on this issue, they can expect a Congressional examination that would make the TSA blush.
Regulations that decrease investment and will lead to a loss of investment are no laughing matter in this bad economy. Americans will look to Congress to ask some tough questions on why the FCC and White House didn’t get the message after the midterms.
The question now is whether it was the FCC or the White House itself that didn’t get the message in the midterms. If they want to jam through these regulations, there is plenty more where the mid-terms came from.