FCC Collaboration Act Reintroduced In House, Senate
March 18, 2015 at 2:06 PM (PT)
Reps. ANNA ESHOO (D-CA), JOHN SHIMKUS (R-IL), and MIKE DOYLE (D-PA) are taking another run at a bill to allow FCC Commissioners to collaborate without triggering the Sunshine Act. The FCC Collaboration Act of 2015 (H.R. 1396) would allow a bipartisan majority of Commissioners to meet as long as no official action is taken, an attorney from the FCC’s Office of General Counsel is present to monitor the deliberations, and the meetings are disclosed within two business days. A companion bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Sens. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) and DEAN HELLER (R-NV).
ESHOO said, “The FCC has huge issues to tackle, representing some of the nation’s most pressing communications challenges, yet the current ‘Sunshine’ Rule restricts commissioners from collaborating freely and effectively. Simple collaboration, discussion of issues, and shared expertise outside an official setting are essential in order for the Commission to keep up with the rapidly changing telecommunications landscape.”
SHIMKUS said, “Expecting the FCC to fulfill its mission without allowing the commissioners to have an open dialogue is a set up for disappointment and delay. Allowing for greater interaction among the commissioners would enable the FCC to more efficiently carry out its responsibilities and more effectively consider the costs and benefits of proposed regulations.”
DOYLE added, “We all agree that it makes sense for members of the FCC to collaborate, provided the discussion is transparent to the public. This bill will help the FCC operate in a more efficient manner without sacrificing transparency. I am pleased to join my colleagues Representatives SHIMKUS and ESHOO and Senators HELLER and KLOBUCHAR in reintroducing the FCC Collaboration Act.”