House Communications Subcommittee Hearing To Discuss FCC Reform Bills
July 11, 2013 at 5:02 AM (PT)
House Communications Subcommitee Chairman GREG WALDEN (R-OR) and Rep. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL) are reintroducing two bills for FCC reform, H.R. 3309 (the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act) and H.R. 3310 (the Federal Communications Commission Consolidater Reporting Act). "These bills aim to minimize the potential for procedural failings and abuse, and to improve agency transparency, efficiency, and accountability. The hearing will focus on discussion drafts of the two bills in anticipation of reintroduction," the committee majority wrote in a memo. The subcommittee will discuss the plan TODAY at a hearing in WASHINGTON. Former FCC Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL will be among those testifying at the hearing.
The bills include provisions requiring the Commission to adhere to "shot clock" deadlines for action and support all actions with notices of proposed rulemaking and comment periods or provide a reason why not. The bill would also put agenda-setting in the hands of a bipartisan Commission majority rather than in the Chairman's sole discretion, and would allow more than two commissioners to meet in private without violating sunshine laws.
The bills failed to pass both Houses in 2012. Ranking subcommittee member ANNA ESHOO (D-CA) has opposed the bills and said that they will again fail to pass the Houses this year.
NAB President and CEO GORDON SMITH issued a statement before the hearing saying, "NAB continues to support efforts by Chairmen UPTON and WALDEN to take a fresh look at FCC processes to ensure that Commission procedures don't impede the ability to serve the public interest. The agency has a critically important mission, and it is imperative that it execute that mission expeditiously, fairly and in a data-driven manner. We look forward to working with the Committee and the Commission to ensure that the FCC functions at the highest level for the American people."