Jeff Flake - U.S. Senator ~ Arizona

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, today introduced a resolution to repeal economically harmful broadband regulations issued by the Obama administration.

The resolution would not change or lessen existing consumer privacy regulations. It is intended to block an attempt by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand its regulatory jurisdiction and impose prescriptive data restrictions on internet service providers. These restrictions have the potential to negatively impact consumers and the future of internet innovation.  

Flake’s resolution would provide for congressional disapproval of the FCC rule under the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that empowers Congress to repeal federal regulations. The resolution would also prevent the FCC from issuing similarly harmful regulations in the future.

“The FCC's midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy.  It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet,” said Flake. “My resolution is the first step toward restoring the FTC's light-touch, consumer-friendly approach. It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections. It empowers consumers to make informed choices on if and how their data can be shared.”

On March 1, 2017, Flake wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal laying out his argument for the resolution. View the op-ed here.

S.J. Res. 34 co-sponsors include: U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.),  Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

Background:

  • On Jan. 29, 2016, Flake sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressing concerns that the FCC is overreaching its authority with its planned broadband regulations. The signed letter can be viewed here.
  • On May 11, 2016, Flake chaired a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law hearing seeking answers on the legality of the proposed FCC rules and the consequences for consumers and the future of the internet. More information on the hearing can be found here
  • At the same hearing, current FCC Chairman and then-FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai testified in support of Flake’s efforts to prevent the privacy regulation. Video of that exchange can be viewed here.

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