Throughout my tenure on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I have worked to increase the deployment of telecommunications services to all American households. I have also fought to ensure that free speech and private innovation remain the hallmarks of this industry, while guaranteeing that our children are protected from online predators and indecent material.
Fighting Government Regulation of the Internet
Most Americans agree that a free, open Internet works and that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to regulate it. I have long been a leading opponent of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) implementation of so-called “network neutrality” rules, which gives the FCC new, unauthorized authority over the Internet. I will work to oppose such rules, thereby preserving Internet freedom, protecting jobs, and limiting the scope of government.
Freeing up additional electromagnetic spectrum is necessary to support the build-out of the next generation of wireless broadband networks. In early 2012, I helped ensure that vital spectrum reform legislation was included as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. This Energy and Commerce legislation is a win for taxpayers, a win for consumers, and a win for the economy as well.
Keeping the Internet Tax-Free
I support keeping the Internet permanently free from all federal taxes. The absence of such taxes will help keep consumers’ high-speed and dial-up Internet rates low, while also protecting goods sold over the Internet from being unfairly singled out or double-taxed.
Permanently Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine
I am flatly opposed to any reinstatement of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” which would enable the federal government to limit and regulate political and other important content broadcasted over our public airwaves. Such a proposal is unconstitutional would endanger our sacred freedoms of speech and the press. I am pleased to report that my committee was successful in pressuring the FCC to permanently strike this controversial regulation from its rulebook once and for all.
Digital Television (DTV) Transition
I helped oversee the successful transition from traditional analog television to digital broadcasting. The switch from analog to digital was one of the 9-11 Commission’s top recommendations in order to ensure that our emergency responders have the appropriate broadcast spectrum to communicate with each other in the event of a national catastrophe. This transition also provides American consumers with a dramatically higher quality of over-the-air programming and a greater number of programming options.