The House Oversight Committee has opened an investigation into whether the White House improperly influenced the Federal Communications Commission's consideration of net neutrality regulations.
In a letter to FCC Tom Wheeler on Friday, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, demanded that the agency turn over all communications between the White House and the FCC on net neutrality, any draft regulations, and internal FCC documents on the views of agency staff on the issue. He also demanded that the FCC preserve broad categories of other documents that might become relevant to the investigation.
Chaffetz told the agency to provide the initial documents and to arrange a briefing for his staff no later than Feb. 20, just six days before the commission is set to vote on the new regulations.
An FCC spokesman confirmed the agency is reviewing the letter but declined to comment. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request to comment.
Republicans have complained that by outlining his own net neutrality proposal last November, President Obama put inappropriate pressure on an independent agency. Unlike executive branch agencies, independent commissions like the FCC are not bound to follow the president's directions.