As The Net Neutrality Vote Nears, Both Sides Make Final Arguments

kyle russell's warIt’s Tuesday. The FCC will vote on its net neutrality plan on Thursday. Given that the FCC is in its sunlight period, you might presume that things have slowed down. They haven’t really.

The best thing bouncing around at the moment is a letter of disappointment,* sent to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, for declining to appear before the House Oversight Committee on the eve of the vote itself. The letter, written by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the committee, strikes the tone of displeasure.

Let’s sample:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 2.17.53 PM

So, there’s that. The chairman could be subpoenaed of course, but that doesn’t seem likely. It also doesn’t seem likely that the vote will be rescheduled. So, the letter is roughly a dude flapping his arms in frustration.

What else is happening? Someone leaked! The Hill picked up the news that Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, one of the three Democrats on the FCC, had some reservations about the Chairman’s proposal. Here’s The Hill’s Julian Hattem:

Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of the restrictions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said.

The request — which Wheeler has yet to respond to — puts the chairman in the awkward position of having to either roll back his proposals, or defend the tough rules and convince Clyburn to back down.

Drama On The Hill.

What else? Yesterday the two Republican commissioners on the FCC tried to delay the vote by a month:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 3.54.51 PM

Here’s the other key paragraph:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 3.56.23 PM

Solid wording, but no dice. The chairman appears content to follow long-held FCC protocol.

So what is next? Expect more shouting, especially on the Hill tomorrow, as the House tries to tie itself into knots in anger about the death of the Internet. Never mind that the companies actually building the products that make the Internet worthwhile vociferously disagree.

Never gaffe when you could sound bite, and never actually get your facts straight when you could gaffe and call it a sound bite.

*Missive of opprobrium? Scarlet letter? Howler? There are many options here.