House Committee Leaders Criticize FCC Chairman’s Process

Top leaders on the House panel with oversight of the FCC issued a sharp rebuke of the FCC Chairman’s leadership.  House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) criticized “opaque decision-making” and “dysfunctional” process at the agency, particularly after a partisan FCC vote on a school and library Wi-Fi subsidy program.

During the FCC meeting on that subject, Commissioner Ajit Pai commented, “It is unfortunate that take-it-or-leave-it, party-line votes have become the new normal for high-profile Commission items. Making it worse, the final draft of this item was not provided to me until 10:13 a.m., 17 minutes before this meeting.”

In his release, Congressman Walden declared, “The chairman did not need to do it this way. Deliberations at the FCC need to include all commissioners. Period.” He added, “[F]or the sake of sound policymaking, public confidence and good process, commissioners should have ample time and ability to thoughtfully consider items before voting on them.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 18, 2014