House Subcommittee Schedules 'FCC Process Reform Act' For Markup Wednesday
November 14, 2011 at 3:55 AM (PT)
The "FCC Process Reform Act," introduced in JUNE as a discussion draft and as a formal bill (HR 3309) on NOVEMBER 2nd, is scheduled for markup in the House Communications Subcommittee on WEDNESDAY (11/16). Among changes to FCC procedures in the bill, the FCC would be required to institute "shot clocks" to let parties know how quickly they could expect action on proceedings, and closed meetings would be allowed among three or more Commissioners under certain conditions. The bill also requires the Commission identify a market failure, consumer harm, or regulatory barrier to investment before it adopts "economically significant rules" and conduct a cost-benefit analysis when establishing the need for the rules. In addition, the "FCC Consolidated Reporting Act" (HR 3310), introduced with the reform act, would require the FCC to issue a bi-annual report on competition in the video, satellite, telecommunications, and mobile wireless markets.
In introducing the bill, Subcommittee Chair GREG WALDEN (R-OR) said, "At a time when job creators are crippled with regulatory uncertainty, Congress has the obligation to ensure that federal agencies carry out the public's business transparently. The technology and communications sector is the most innovative in our country--it deserves the most innovative and open government agency. Taking a page from the President's executive order, we have been examining ways to improve transparency and efficiency at the FCC. We have reached out to our Democratic colleagues, Chairman GENACHOWSKI, each commissioner, and job creators to identify what current FCC processes work and what can be improved. Taking this feedback into account, we developed a series of sensible process reforms to improve the way the Commission operates. I appreciate Senator HELLER's leadership in the Senate to ensure we move these commonsense reforms through both chambers and get them to the President's desk in a timely manner."
Co-sponsor Rep. DEAN HELLER (R-NV) added "If we are going to get Americans working again, Congress must take action and remove the weight of big government from our nation's innovators and entrepreneurs. The technology sector has helped power economic growth in our country for the last twenty years and will continue to if big government does not over burden it. Stifling the technology sector with onerous regulations will only impede new job creation at a time when we need jobs most. Stopping oppressive regulations will be critical to getting our nation's economy moving again and this legislation is a step in the right direction."