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Status of Legislative Moves to Hinder NTIA Switch

Here’s the status of various legislative moves in Congress, including those that would slow down the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s move to step out of Internet domain functions:

Stand-alone legislation

HR 4342, by John Shimkus, R-Ill., would restrict the agency from stepping back in its role over the Internet domain name system or agreeing to any such proposal until the Government Accountability Office reports to Congress. The report would need to be submitted within a year of the NTIA receiving any proposed transition plan. The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill by voice vote.

HR 4398, by Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., would prohibit the NTIA from stepping away from its role Internet domain name functions.

HR 4367, by Mike Kelly, R-Pa., would block the NTIA from stepping away from its role unless another law is enacted that would allow it.


Shimkus’ amendment to the House’s fiscal 2015 defense policy bill, HR 4435, incorporates his stand-alone bill. Adopted 245-177, largely along party lines with 17 Democrats breaking from their party to endorse the proposal.

Duffy’s amendment to the House’s fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, HR 4660, would block money in the bill from being used for the NTIA to step back from its role over Internet domain system functions. Adopted 229-178, largely along party lines with 10 Democrats breaking from their party to vote in favor and one Republican — Joe L. Barton of Texas — breaking from his party to vote in opposition.

Committee Reports

The House’s committee report for the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science bill says the “recommendation for NTIA does not include any funds to carry out a transition of these functions.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s report on its Commerce-Justice-Science bill tasks NTIA to review and analyze any proposed transition to ensure an “oversight plan that is insulated from foreign government and inter-governmental control.” It also would direct NTIA to report to appropriators quarterly on the privatization process.