A bill that would reduce the number of beginning-of-the-year annual reports that the FCC is required to submit to Congress has passed without a single no vote. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai (pictured) voiced his appreciation for the reduction in his agency’s workload.
To say the bill was non-controversial is to put it mildly – it received 227 Republican and 188 Democratic votes. The only blemish on the results were the 27 members who did not vote at all on the measure.
Currently the FCC hands in eight reports to Congress at the beginning of the year. Assuming an autograph from President Barack Obama is added, it will reduce the report requirement to one, which will encompass material that would have been included in the others.
Sponsor Steve Scalise (R-LA) said on the House Floor, “This bill is another step in the process of streamlining government so that businesses can focus their time and resources on growing our economy and creating jobs, instead of complying with outdated and burdensome mandates from the federal government. By consolidating eight annual and triennial reports into a single biennial Communications Marketplace report, not only do we recognize this new budget reality by giving the FCC more flexibility and tools to drive greater efficiencies, but we can usher in a platform to analyze the converged nature of today’s highly competitive, intermodal communications industry, which has moved beyond the traditional confines of the ’92 and ’96 Cable and Communications Acts.”
Others working to get the bill passed included the two leaders of the House Communications Subcommittee, Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Walden said, “This is the kind of nuts and bolts work that I think helps clean up government, helps make it more efficient, make it more productive, make it more affordable and get it out of the way.”
Pai commented, “I applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing yesterday evening H.R. 2844, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act, and I commend the leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology—Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Eshoo—as well as Representative Scalise for their bipartisan efforts to advance this important legislation. The FCC’s reporting requirements are numerous, outdated, and unnecessarily burdensome. Replacing them with a single biennial Communications Marketplace Report will not only enable more efficient use of agency resources, it will also provide Congress and the public with a comprehensive and far more useful set of data that reflects the realities of today’s converged marketplace. This is straightforward, good-government legislation, and I hope that the U.S. Senate will act quickly to send this bill to the President for his signature.”