Lankford Challenges FCC’s Unlawful ‘Digital Equity’ Rules

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) along with 19 of their colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval to nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) so-called “Digital Discrimination” order. The order, which the FCC voted to finalize in November, gives the federal government control over nearly every aspect of the broadband industry while exposing companies to expansive, indeterminate, and crippling liability under a “disparate impact” standard. The FCC’s order, which ignores the plain language of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will harm broadband investment and undermine the goal of promoting high-speed internet access for all Americans.   

“Industry should drive industry—not the government,” said Lankford. “The latest rules coming from the Biden Administration are in a continued effort to take over the internet. Broadband is the example of American innovation. If we allow the Biden Administration to impose its overreaching rules to control the internet, progress and ingenuity will slow significantly. My colleagues and I are calling to overturn the Biden Administration’s actions and to stop their internet takeover attempt.”

“Despite admitting there’s ‘little to no evidence’ of discrimination by broadband companies, the Biden Administration has plowed ahead with government-mandated affirmative action and race-based pricing for broadband,” said Cruz. “The only beneficiaries of the FCC’s Orwellian ‘equity’ plan are overzealous government regulators who want to control the internet. This resolution will roll back FCC Democrats’ unlawful power grab.”

“The FCC’s heavy-handed ‘Digital Discrimination’ rule is a solution in search of a problem,” said Lee. “It’s a broad overreach that threatens to entangle the internet in red tape, jeopardizing the very innovation that has made it a cornerstone of modern life. This resolution is our stand against Biden’s attempt to regulate the internet into oblivion, ensuring the internet remains a dynamic and competitive marketplace for ideas, not a utility subject to government whims.”

Under the FCC’s new order, nearly every aspect of the internet—including a broadband provider’s deployment decisions, network reliability, network maintenance, equipment, pricing, promotional discounts, customer service, language options, credit checks, marketing and advertising, and more—will be subject to potential FCC enforcement actions, including multi-million-dollar forfeitures and injunctive orders, under a disparate impact standard.

Also joining Lankford, Cruz, and Lee on the joint resolution of disapproval are Senators Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ted Budd (R-NC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tim Scott (R-SC ), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), Jerry Moran (R-KS ), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).