Blackburn Addresses FCC, Amnesty Issues

In her weekly email to Republican Tennesseans, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn discussed net neutrality, data security and amnesty concerns:

Many of you raised questions and concerns with me about President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet, which was approved by the FCC last month. With yesterday’s public release of the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, now we finally get to find out what is in it. The 300 plus page order will take some time to review and analyze. I want reiterate my disappointment in the lack of transparency that accompanied this process. The FCC held a public notice and comment period, while the White House secretly gathered stakeholders for private sessions behind closed doors where we recently learned the order was truly drafted.

Ironically, this order will likely do nothing to address the fairness issues raised by Democrats and Internet activists. Rather, under the guise of keeping the Internet ‘free and open’, the Administration simply advocated for an approach that allows Big Brother to step into the shoes of service providers. The government will regulate rates, create its own fast lanes, control the placement of content, and raise fees and taxes.

As you know I have been leading the fight to prevent a government takeover of the Internet for the last four years through my legislation – the Internet Freedom Act, which I reintroduced last week and currently has 43 co-sponsors. This is legislation I first introduced during the 112th Congress on January 1, 2011, to block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules and also introduced during the 113th Congress on February 21, 2014. Both the issue and my legislation have been around for a while. We are hopeful it will move forward quickly and I am grateful that so many of my colleagues have already joined me on this bill. I will have an update for you again next week.

Next week, when the House returns to work in Washington, one of the issues before us at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will be a discussion draft of the Data Security and Breach Notification Act to tackle our nation’s growing data security challenges. I have authored this legislation with my friend from Vermont, Rep. Peter Welch. On Wednesday, March 18th, at 10 a.m. we will hold a subcommittee hearing to examine cyber threats and review this legislation. Many of you have asked what we plan to do on the issue and this is our draft bill.

As one of the tens of millions of Americans who has been a victim of a data breach I know firsthand the great importance of needing to protect our personal information from identity theft. This bill will help enhance the security of sensitive information and provide much needed clarity by creating a national standard and ensure that consumers are notified of a breach without unreasonable delay. It’s imperative that we take action to prevent hackers’ success and provide safeguards to consumers to protect their virtual selves if and when their data is compromised.

One unfinished item of business still on our plate is stopping President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. This is probably the issue that most of you talked about during our conversations. I join you in the disappointment with our leadership that they agreed to a ‘clean’ funding bill and did not keep either the Blackburn or Mulvaney language on the table and thereby force the Senate to go to conference on the bill. Yes, it has been frustrating to see them throw in the towel on the issue, but we are not giving up. During this week, I have had conversations with some of my colleagues who are hearing the same thing in their districts. So, hang in here with me. We will continue our fight to stop the illegal, unconstitutional executive amnesty that our President continues to try to enact. We are grateful that the court has issued an injunction, but we know a legislative action is necessary.

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