"You're playing God with the Internet!" the Texas Republican shouted at Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Wheeler was testifying in the fifth and final congressional hearing in just eight days over his controversial net neutrality decision. While Wheeler and other Democrats argue that the rules will ensure people can access whatever online content they want, Republicans consider them an unnecessary burden on Internet providers that will stifle investment.
Gohmert, who is well known for his often bombastic defense of conservative principles, was subdued when he first began questioning the FCC chief. He asked Wheeler what congressional authority the FCC has for the new rules and whether the commission will leave some room for Internet providers to reach creative business deals.
Wheeler pointed to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for legal justification of the regulations, and responded that, yes, Internet providers still will have some freedom to experiment with new business models.