Congressional sheriff and deputy are back in town


The traditional congressional summer recess is coming to a close, and two of the House of Representatives’ most tireless watchdogs, Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet Rick Boucher (D-VA) are already scheduling hearings as the 111th Congress starts to wind down.

Three hearings are on the schedule. Two are on completely off-topic subjects for readers of this publication – salmonella-infested eggs and public health legislation. The third is a communications topic, and will be heard in Boucher’s subcommittee, but the focus is universal service, one of the many areas of FCC oversight that broadcasters can watch safely from the sidelines.

RBR-TVBR observation: Although the FCC is implicated in next week’s schedule, broadcasters are not. But with several unresolved issues pending in Washington, it may only be a matter of time before broadcasting stakeholders, regulators and watchdogs find themselves called to the Hill to offer some testimony.