The legislation "will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations," Blackburn said in a statement.
It isn't likely to get very far, if only because Democrats, who largely support the FCC, are loath to play ball. But Blackburn's legislation is significant for other reasons: It highlights how many Republicans aren't convinced by — or perhaps actively dislike -- the effort by establishment Republicans to find a middle-ground approach.
That middle-ground proposal, backed by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.), would also block the FCC from using Title II of the Communications Act, as Blackburn's bill does. But it still enshrines many of President Obama's net neutrality principles into law. For conservatives who are opposed to greater regulation on principle, this is a bit of a concession.
Washington lobbyists have recently taken to pointing out how far mainstream Republicans have come on net neutrality in just the past year. Once opposed to any new regulations, many in the GOP now acknowledge the need for some rules of the road (just written by Congress, not the FCC).
"Republicans are going to keep moving forward with regular order on their legislation and inviting Democrats to make their amendments," said Berin Szoka, president of the advocacy organization TechFreedom, in an interview last month. "That's Track 1, and it's not going to be rushed."
But Blackburn's bill shows that there are still a significant number of conservative lawmakers who have their own ideas. In fact, some members may even believe Congress should pass a resolution of disapproval on the FCC's net neutrality policy, or even strip the agency of some funding. What this means for the future of the Thune/Upton bill is unclear. The more senior Republicans could try to use Blackburn's legislation as a way to draw more Democrats to the fold, portraying theirs as a moderate compromise. That would likely be an uphill battle, though; as we've already seen, liberals seem to think they hold the high ground already.
At the same time, if efforts at forging a bipartisan deal fall through, Thune and Upton may feel tempted to move to the right and adopt Blackburn's position. If that happens, then we're talking about a near-certain veto from Obama.
Either way, this puts efforts to craft any bill in a bit of a bind.