HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > House Panel Again Pursues FCC Reform

House Panel Again Pursues FCC Reform

The Communications Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week renewed its pursuit of improving FCC operations. A subcommittee statement worried that while “[t]he communications marketplace is one of this country’s most vibrant sectors…. Poor process at the FCC… can produce flawed decisions and chill that vibrancy, particularly in this economy.”

Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) seeks to advance again The FCC Process Reform Act and The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, both of which were passed by the House last Congress, only to be halted in the Democrat-controlled Senate. These bills are intended to prescribe rules for publication of, performance measures for, and a “shot clock” to act on FCC orders, as well as simplify reporting requirements.

“The last thing that we want to do is stifle an industry that is continually growing and innovating. Yet that is exactly what could happen if the FCC is not held to certain standards of decision-making,” stated Chairman Walden during a hearing on these bills. “The industry deserves an efficient and effective regulator we can truly call ‘expert,’ just as the public deserves a transparent and accountable federal government. These reforms are a good place to start.”

Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), top Democrat on the full Committee, led Democrats in opposing the bill.  “It still undermines the ability of the FCC to act quickly and efficiently by putting in statute a dozen new mandatory process requirements, with each one subjecting the FCC to new court challenges,” he argued. “And it still alters fundamentally the agency’s authority to impose conditions during its transaction review process, effectively eviscerating the public interest standard that has guided the FCC for nearly eighty years.”

  • Find full coverage of this week’s hearing here and here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 12, 2013

Latest News

NRB Calls for Defunding Planned Parenthood

As undercover videos have revealed key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, anger and scrutiny are increasing against the nation’s largest abortion organization.

Key Senator Expresses Concern with Supreme Court

Reflecting on the most recent Supreme Court term, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) this week said that the Court had a “very liberal bent this last term” and “more worrisome...

LPTV Highlighted at House Hearing

In a hearing featuring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, low power television (LPTV) received significant attention, particularly from Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)...

Poll Explores Sentiment on Race Relations

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed that Americans generally have a negative impression of the state of race relations, noteworthy after tragedies around the nation, including at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nominate Your Organization for a 2016 NRB Media Award!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 14, 2015. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of the association’s most valued traditions.

Life Without Limbs Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Launches ‘Stand Strong’

Life Without Limbs, the international non-profit ministry of speaker, author, and evangelist Nick Vujicic, recently marked its 10th anniversary and launched a new campaign in celebration.

Want to Make an Impact in DC? Join the NRB President’s Council

From among its membership, NRB has been building up a select group of strategic partners who wish to bolster the work of the association through additional commitments of time, support, and financial resources.

NRB Members: Highlight Your Organization in NRB Today – for Free!

We are soliciting descriptions about NRB members to feature in our weekly e-newsletter, NRB Today, and on the NRB.org website.

Senate Funders Take Aim at Agencies

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week advanced legislation with provisions to restrict several agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS.

Justice Alito Gives Insight into the Supreme Court

In a lengthy interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito provided insight into the high court’s procedures, commentary on recent cases, and some thoughts on baseball.

More News