House Votes to Defund Net Neutrality (H. Travis)

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

The Census

Planned Parenthood

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.

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