1st Republican lawmaker calls for delayed net neutrality vote, follows similar footsteps of 39 Democrats

Thirty-nine Democratic senators banded together in an attempt to pressure Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai to call off his "reckless" proposal of trashing Obama-era net neutrality regulations.

The Senators sent Mr. Pai a letter Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to convince him to uphold the rules, which bar internet service providers from slowing down or favoring certain web content. A vote on the repeal is planned for Thursday, and the proposal is expected to pass along party lines.

"Your plan gives a broadband provider the ability to significantly alter their subscribers' internet experience," the letter reads. "Once adopted, this proposal will permit that provider to freely block, slow down or manipulate a consumer's access to the internet as long as it discloses those practices — no matter how anti-consumer — somewhere within mounds of legalese in a new 'net neutrality' policy."

Many Republicans support Mr. Pai's proposal. They view net neutrality rules as a regulatory approach that hinders investment and innovation, although Democrats argue the rules preserve free flow of information online.

However, today the first Republican, Rep. Mike Coffman, Colo., called on the FCC to delay its vote. Repealing the rules that mandate an open internet "may well have significant unanticipated negative consequences," he wrote in a letter to Mr. Pai, according to The Denver Post

Mr. Coffman did not say whether he is for or against net neutrality but rather asked Mr. Pai to allow Congress to debate the issue in hearings.

The decision "should be resolved by the people's elected representatives, those who choose the direction of government — and those whom the American people can hold accountable for that choice," he wrote, according to The Denver Post.

A public opinion poll out of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy Program for Public Consultation, which sought input from 1,077 registered voters, found 83 percent of people opposed ending net neutrality, including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 86 percent of independents.

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