Former Congressmen Warn That Obama E-Rate Expansion Could 'Derail' FCC Nominations
August 20, 2013 at 4:16 AM (PT)
A plan by President OBAMA to expand a federal program funding the installation of the Internet in more schools may "derail" the nominations of TOM WHEELER and MIKE O'RIELLY to the FCC, former Congressmen TOM TAUKE and CLIFF STEARNS told the TECHNOLOGY POLICY INSTITUTE conference in ASPEN.
THE HILL reports that TAUKE, who has served as a lobbyist for VERIZON, said of the President's proposal to expand the FCC E-Rate program, funded by fees tacked onto consumers' phone bills, "If you want to derail the nominations, say you're directing the FCC to spend 2, 4, 5 billion dollars that's going to be tacked on to the phone bill. Boy, talk about red meat for some of those on the Republican side of the aisle."
He suggested that Senate Republicans could insist that the nominees disavow the plan. STEARNS added that Senate Republicans should use the confirmation process to press the issue, adding, "I think that's the responsibility of Congress to increase taxes and to think that the FCC would increase taxes by executive order … is very alarming to me."