Senate Commerce Committee Approves FCC Reauthorization Bill, FCC Reform Act
April 27, 2016 at 12:07 PM (PT)
The Senate Commerce Committee passed the FCC Reauthorization bill on a unanimous vote WEDNESDAY, and also passed the FCC Process Reform Act over Democratic opposition. The bills now move to the full Senate for consideration.
The reauthorization bill's passage was smoothed by the withdrawal of several amendments that threatened the bi-partisan nature of the proposal. Chairman JOHN THUNE (R-SD) was joined by Ranking Member BILL NELSON (D-FL) in co-sponsoring the bill, which is the first reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission in 25 years.
“Today, the Commerce Committee approved a measure to reauthorize the FCC for the first time in 25 years,” said THUNE. “It’s been a priority of mine this Congress to formally reauthorize the FCC and I’m pleased that we approved this long-overdue, noncontroversial measure. The Commerce Committee has been very active this Congress doing the important work of approving bills like the FCC reauthorization while pushing forward on thoughtful reforms.”
The reform act was sponsored by Sens. DEAN HELLER (R-NV) and STEVE DAINES (R-MT) and requires the Commission to publish orders before bringing them to a vote, aimed at Chairman TOM WHEELER's current process that does not release the text of orders to the public until after votes are held, relying instead on statements by WHEELER to the press.
Also passed by the Committee today was the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, which would establish a working group (including representatives from the FCC, NTIA, NOAA, the FTC, and other agencies and outside interests to report to Congress on regulation of, and jurisdiction over, the "Internet of Things."