Republican lawmakers question whether President Barack Obama influenced the independent agency before it adopted rules last month that prohibit Internet providers such as Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. from blocking or slowing public Web traffic for profit.
Appearing before a House panel Tuesday, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler told Jason Chaffetz that the President gave him no "secret instructions" on net neutrality.
JASON CHAFFETZ: I don't understand that, you met with them, are you telling me that this proposal did not come up in any of those meetings but one?
TOM WHEELER, FCC: I can't recall the details of those meetings. I can assure you there were no -- nothing that would trigger an ex-parte [a decision by a judge requiring all parties of a dispute to be present].
CHAFFETZ: You meet with the White House multiple times during the open comment period, after the comment period closes, and we're supposed to believe that one of the most important things the FCC has ever done -- this didn't come up, you didn't have any discussions, they didn't comment back to you about what you were doing. Is that what we're supposed to believe?
TOM WHEELER, FCC: The administration was very good about making it clear that I was an independent agency.