House Communications and Technology Sub-Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) described the funding as unnecessary to guarantee a completely free Internet:
“We all want an open and thriving Internet. That Internet exists today. Consumers can access anything they want with the click of a mouse thanks to our historical hands-off approach,” [Walden said].
The National Journal quotes one telecom analyst as guessing the defunding proposal will not make it through the Senate:
In the long run, the cut potentially “has a shot” of actually making it past the Senate and President Obama’s pen, but final passage is not likely, said Paul Glenchur, a senior telecommunications analyst for Potomac Research Group.
This is just one in a potentially long list of defunded projects that both Bush and Obama supported, including funding for:
The United Nations
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s travel allowance
Renovations to the White House
Foreign aid to Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Israel, Jordan and Egypt
Climate change diplomacy
Spending over $200 million a year on military bands
Pay hikes for federal employees
Attorneys fees in the case of the United States v. The State of Arizona and Janice K. Brewer
Talk of a government shutdown is growing:
A proposal by Texas Republican Ted Poe to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to issue regulations on global warming passed by a 249-177 vote…. Democrats [have] charged that Boehner was maneuvering Congress to the precipice of a government shutdown.
In 1995, Bob Dole and other Senate Republicans joined Senate Democrats to defeat House Republicans’ proposals to defund the EPA, OSHA, and the NLRB. Perhaps a similar dynamic will emerge prior to a government shutdown in 2011 or 2012. However, during the government shutdown in 1995, many federal services ground to a halt, leading to higher bond yields:
During the nearly four-week shutdown, Social Security checks were not mailed and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements were disrupted. According to a Center for American Progress report entitled “The Big Freeze,” the shutdown ultimately “cost the American taxpayer over $800 million and rattled the confidence of international investors in U.S. government bonds.”
According to the Associated Press, stocks lost $100 billion in value, and a “sell-off” of U.S. treasuries sent interest rates higher.