Bipartisan Deal Moves FCC Reform Bill Forward In House
December 10, 2013 at 4:31 AM (PT)
A deal between Republicans and Democrats on the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee has paved the way for an FCC reform bill to come to a vote this week. Panel Chair Rep. GREG WALDEN (R-OR) agreed to drop restrictions on the FCC's ability to impose conditions on mergers and a provision that would have required a cost-benefit analysis for proposed rules. With the changes, ranking member ANNA ESHOO (D-CA) has agreed to support the bill, H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act.
The bill includes non-binding "shot clock" deadlines for completing proceedings and would allow more than two commissioners to meet in private without triggering Sunshine Law public disclosure requirements. The bill will be voted upon by the full Energy and Commerce Committee at its markup session on WEDNESDAY (12/11).
WALDEN said, "For the last three years this subcommittee has diligently worked to improve the transparency and predictability of FCC processes. I am pleased that we were able to achieve a bipartisan consensus on a path forward to give consumers and businesses with matters before the commission a more transparent and certain process. I thank the minority for their work on this important piece of legislation and look forward to the Senate’s prompt action on this bipartisan effort to boost transparency.”