Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) apparently wants to clear his desk before heading out for the August recess (or state work period if you want to use the Senate’s own terminology). There are 22 items on the schedule to be voted on, several of interest to broadcasters.
Most important is a committee vote on the nomination of Tom Wheeler as the next Chairman of the FCC. There will also be a vote on authorizing Rockefeller’s legislation kicking off a study of media violence, as predicted by NAB last week. Finally, there are five nominations to the board of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to be voted on.
The meeting is on the schedule for 7/30/13 at 2:30 eastern. Here’s the full slate of items scheduled for action:
1. S. 134, the Violent Content Research Act of 2013
2. S. RES. 157, A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that telephone service must be improved in rural areas of the United States and that no entity may unreasonably discriminate against telephone users in those areas
3. S. 267, Pirate Fishing Elimination Act
4. S. 269, International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act
5. S. 376, Drought Information Act of 2013
6. S. 839, Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act of 2013
7. S. 921, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act
8. S. 1068, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Office Corps Amendments Act of 2013
9. S. 1072, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013
10. S. 1254, Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013
11. S. 1317, NASA Authorization Act of 2013
12. S. 1344, Arctic Research, Monitoring, and Observing Act of 2013
13. S. 1353, The Cybersecurity Act of 2013
14. Nomination of Dr. Jannette Dates, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PN 172)
15. Nomination of Mr. Bruce M. Ramer, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PN 173, Reappointment)
16. Nomination of Dr. Brent Nelsen, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PN 379)
17. Nomination of Mr. Thomas Carper, to be a Member of the Amtrak Board of Directors (PN 533, Reappointment)
18. Nomination of Mr. Howard Husock, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PN 534)
19. Nomination of Ms. Loretta Sutliff, to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PN 589)
20. Nomination of Mr. Thomas E. Wheeler, to be Chairman, Federal Communications Commission (PN 411) (PN 412 Reappointment)
21. Nomination of Dr. Mark E. Schaefer, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce (PN 499)
22. Nominations for Promotion in the U.S. Coast Guard (PN 328, PN 329 and PN 649)
RBR-TVBR observation: This of course has little to do with the date upon which Wheeler’s nomination is considered by the full Senate. We believe it is unlikely until a Republican counterpart for Wheeler makes it as far along in the process as he has, and nobody has even been nominated yet, much less vetted and grilled via confirmation hearing.
Then, all it will take is one disgruntled senator to hold up a final vote ad infinitum, as Charles Grassley (R-IA) did with the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to express his displeasure with the FCC’s handling of the LightSquared proceeding which of course neither nominee had the slightest involvement in. So you can start a betting pool as to when or if Wheeler actually moves into the FCC 8th Floor, but we’re not crazy enough to place a wager.