House Approves FCC Reform Bill

After coming to a bipartisan agreement, the House of Representatives this week advanced legislation to improve FCC operations. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who worked with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to come to agreement on this bill, has been dedicated to improving transparency and predictability at the Commission. The FCC Process Reform Act (H.R. 3675) is intended to advance that goal by encouraging increased sunshine and enhanced timelines for FCC action.

Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Walden stated, “Communications and technology companies, as well as consumers who enjoy their products and benefits, deserve a transparent and responsive government agency. While agency process has improved under recent chairmen, this legislation will ensure that reforms remain in place from one administration to the next.”

In addition to a number of provisions related to comment, publication, and other procedural rules, one noteworthy section calls for the FCC to conduct a formal public inquiry about whether or not procedures should be established that would allow a bipartisan majority of Commissioners to place an item on the FCC’s Open Meeting agenda. Currently, the Chairman sets that agenda.

This bill now heads to the Senate, where Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) has proposed a related bill.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 14, 2014