House Passes FCC Reform Bill Despite Certain White House, Senate Opposition
March 27, 2012 at 5:31 PM (PT)
In spite of Pres. OBAMA's opposition and promise of a veto, The House nonetheless passed a bill that would require the FCC to do more study and require more public input before releasing regulations, and weaken the FCC's ability to dictate the terms of mergers between communications mergers, THE HILL reports. The House approved the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Process Reform act by 247-174.
"Everything the President's asking all the other agencies to do, in this legislation, we're saying FCC you should do as well," argued Rep. GREG WALDEN (R-OR.). "If every other agency of the government can do a cost-benefit analysis, and even do a higher, more sophisticated level, what's wrong with asking the FCC to do a light-touch review of costs and benefits?"
However, the bill also addresses REPUBLICAN complaints that the FCC makes too many demands on media mergers on merging companies. For example, FCC forced Comcast to offer channels aimed at racial minorities, in order to receive approval for its purchase of NBC UNIVERSAL last year. As expected, the WHITE HOUSE has come out in opposition to H.R. 3309, the FCC Process Reform Act, which is before the House for a vote this week. The bill by Rep. GREG WALDEN (R-OR) sets new requirements for the Commission to show the need for new regulations and restricts what conditions the FCC could add to proposed mergers.
In a statement opposing the bill, the administration said, "These restrictions would harm the federal government’s ability to promote the most effective competitive outcome in any given transaction involving communications firms."
Like many other House bills, the FCC Process Reform Act is expected to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate -- and if by chance it is passed, OBAMA promised to veto it.