House Republicans have succeeded in tacking on an amendment to the 2011 spending bill that strikes a blow to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new "network neutrality" regulations.
The chamber voted 244-181 in favor of an amendment that would bar the FCC from using government money to enforce rules that the agency approved last year. The new regulations would require broadband providers to let subscribers access all Internet content and services over their wired networks.
The FCC aims to prohibit communication providers from favoring or discriminating against online content because it competes with their brand. GOP lawmakers claim that net neutrality rules will stifle phone and cable companies, and that the FCC overstepped its authority in enacting the rules.
Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said that the amendment is "about keeping the government out of the business of running the Internet," quoted by The Huffington Post.
According to media reports, wireless service companies MetroPCS and Verizon have both filed lawsuits in an effort to overturn the FCC's new regulations.