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House Appropriations Measure Advances With Anti-Net Neutrality Provision

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 29-17 to approve a funding bill with a provision that would stall restricting the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rule.

The legislation, which would provide fiscal year 2017 funding for several federal agencies, would bar the FCC from enforcing its 2015 open internet order until pending litigation over the rule is resolved. Another provision would prevent the FCC from moving forward on its proposal to open up the cable set-top box marketplace until the agency completes an impact study.

The vote drew criticism from the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

“For the second time in a year, House Republicans voted to hijack the budget process to advance their crusade against net neutrality, the FCC, and consumer protections,” Joshua Stager, policy counsel at the OTI, said in a statement. “The bill approved today would gut the net neutrality rules that millions of Americans asked for and stop a long-overdue effort to break up the set-top box monopoly that needlessly drives up American cable bills.”