Republican members of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed bills to change the ways the FCC functions; and the full Committee on Energy and Commerce followed suit, in both cases against Democratic objections. Now the measure is on its way to a vote by the full House or Representatives.
The bill is designed to increase transparency, allow for more input by stakeholders and other with interest, and require the FCC to do cost-benefit analysis on any measures it proposes.
An article in Hillicon Valley notes that the intent of the Republicans pushing the bill is to make it harder for the FCC to regulate the industries it oversees.
Democrats argue that the bill ironically strives to regulate the FCC above and beyond protocols for government agencies already encapsulated in existing legislation.
Included in the bill are provisions that would make it possible for commissioners to meet in private, a long-sought-after privilege that is supported by both parties. However, efforts to put that part of the legislation forth as a standalone measure were rebuffed.
The bill is expected to succeed on the House floor and then go absolutely nowhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate.