Hutchison Takes Wait and See Approach On Net Neutrality Rules
Texas Senator Threatened To Try To Block Funding, But Held Off After Chairman's Office Reaches Out
John Eggerton 10/23/2009 10:59:07 AM

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, is taking a trust but verify approach to proposed new network neutrality rules.

Soon after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his plan to expand and codify the rules, Bailey threatened to introduce a bill to block funding for them, but held off after the chairman's office reached out to her.

She suggested Friday that the bill is still an option. But she also said she would first need to closely review the text of the decision, which the FCC released Thursday.

"I had strong concerns with the original proposal which I shared with Chairman Genachowski," she said in a statement. "Chairman Genachowski has assured me that he understands my concerns, particularly as they relate to the investment incentives and decisions of small rural communications providers. These small providers are a critical part of improving broadband access for rural areas across the country. After reviewing the Commission's decision, I will evaluate whether legislative efforts, including those recently introduced, are an appropriate course of action."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not wait for the text, or even a vote, introducing a bill even before the proposal was officially unveiled that would block it.