Grassley not budging on FCC nominees


Charles GrassleyIt was thought that access provided to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to FCC documents regarding the Commission’s dealings with LightSquared would soon result in the release of Grassley’s months-long hold on the nominations of FCC commissioner candidates Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai. Grassley’s office has seen the documents and the Senator is basically saying nothing doing.

Grassley has been feuding with the FCC over documents and access to key employees in regards to a proceeding involving would-be 4G provider LightSquared. As it turned out, a LightSquared proposal failed to clear interference hurdles and was halted by the FCC. But Grassley has long wondered how the matter got as far along as it did.

The FCC has turned down his request for documents, noting that it was instructed long ago by Congress itself to deal only with members who sit on appropriate committees that have FCC oversight within their jurisdiction. Grassley sits on no such committee.

However, an end-around option has been provided by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They do have the proper FCC oversight, and the FCC has complied with an E&C request for documents. E&C in turn is providing access to Grassley.

But Grassley is not even remotely satisfied with the FCC’s data dump.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley said, “On Friday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee shared with Senator Grassley the first set of documents provided by the FCC. According to the FCC, the documents all have been previously released through the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, Senator Grassley’s hold on the FCC nominees will continue until the FCC demonstrates its commitment to comply with the House committee’s request and produce new, internal documents. Senator Grassley continues to work closely with Chairmen Upton, Walden, and Stearns on obtaining internal FCC documents that have not been previously released. Senator Grassley expects this process will lead to more transparency from the FCC that will help to hold the commission accountable and allow the FCC commissioner nominees to move forward.”