Support for illegal Internet giveaway collapses in Congress

June 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Senate and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) for a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) calling it “troubling that NTIA appears to have taken these actions in violation of this prohibition” of Section 539 of the Omnibus spending bill that forbids the NTIA from relinquishing control over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to any group including ICANN:

“Sen. Grassley and Rep. Goodlatte’s leadership in protecting the Internet is one of the reasons that the transition has not already occurred, and now their letter to NTIA shows that powerful Senate and House leaders are lining up to defend the power of the purse from the Obama administration’s illegal Internet giveaway. NTIA is little more than a rogue agency,  illegally preparing to violate a federal statute by proceeding with the transition in spite of a clear prohibition. Now is the time to hold NTIA accountable and renew the prohibition for at least another year, forcing the current contract with ICANN to be renewed.

“Grassley and Goodlatte’s letter comes after Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune has expressed skepticism of the transition, citing unanswered questions, and House Appropriations Commerce, Science and Justice Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John Culberson has warned the Commerce Department that is violating the defund. With so much uncertainty, renewing the contract is the only way to go.”


Letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), June 27, 2016 at

“[D]espite the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus spending bill’s prohibition on NTIA using any funds in furtherance of the transition, NTIA has been working to transfer the IANA functions by devoting staff time and commissioning outsides studies on the subject. Specifically Section 539 of the FY2016 Omnibus states that funds provided in the Act may not be used to relinquish NTIA’s responsibility for the Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the IANA functions. However, in NTIA’s recent ‘IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal Assessment Report,’ NTIA states that, among other actions it ‘utilized a number of resources and tools’ to review and assess the IANA stewardship proposal. Further NTIA states that it utilized the DNS Interagency Working Group, comprised of 15 government agencies, to ‘engage U.S. federal government agencies on matters related to the IANA Stewardship Transition, including proposal review and assessment.’ As we are sure you are aware, it is a violation of federal law for an officers or employee of the United States Government ‘to make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation or fund for the expenditure or obligation.’ It is troubling that NTIA appears to have taken these actions in violation of this prohibition.”

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