By Julian Hattem of THE HILL – 01/14/15 04:22 PM EST
President Obama’s call for more cities and towns to create their own broadband Internet services to compete with private companies like Comcast is meeting stiff opposition from many Republicans.
Unlike the president’s previous proposals this week to bulk up U.S. cybersecurity and protect Americans’ identities online — which were largely welcomed on Capitol Hill — he waded into hotly partisan waters on Wednesday by unveiling a plan to eliminate state laws limiting local government-run Web connections.
Republicans were swift to denounce the president on Wednesday, as he spoke in Cedar Falls, Iowa — a town that has created its own municipally-owned broadband Internet provider.
“In Tennessee we have a term to describe people like President Obama — tone-deaf,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said in a statement.
“At a time when Americans think the biggest problem facing our nation today is big government, you would think he’d have gotten the message by now,” she added. “We don’t need unelected bureaucrats like FCC [Federal Communications Commission] Chairman Tom Wheeler dictating to our states what they can and can’t do with respect to protecting their limited taxpayer dollars and private enterprises.”