House panel moves FCC bill forward


FCCThe Committee on Energy and Commerce has approved a bipartisan bill that aims to make the FCC’s life a little easier, providing efficiency, eliminating archaic obligations and by so doing, ultimately make better use of FCC resources. Its simple prescription – eliminate a massive pile of reports owed to Congress and replace them with a single all-encompassing biennial report.

The bill is the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. It is on its way to the full House, and we suspect it actually has a chance to pass there and in the Senate well.

E&C Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) stated, “The second bill the committee will consider is the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, sponsored by Mr. Scalise, Chairman Walden, and Ranking Member Eshoo, which consolidates eight separate congressionally mandated reports on the communications industry into a single comprehensive report with a focus on competition among technology platforms, deploying communications to unserved communities, eliminating regulatory barriers, and empowering small businesses. Eliminating outdated reports and streamlining existing ones will allow the commission to be more efficient and effective, reducing their administrative burden, and keeping pace with the rapid changes in this critical segment of the market. This bipartisan effort is a step in the right direction towards smarter government in the innovation era.”

Added Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), “As an original cosponsor of H.R. 2844, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013, I strongly support streamlining many of the outdated reporting requirements Congress has placed on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). At its core, the FCC should be focused on protecting the public interest and ensuring competition across the communications marketplace. This legislation ensures that the FCC has the flexibility to continue assessing the state of competition across the entire communications marketplace, including particular submarkets like wireless, cable and satellite. I’m pleased that Chairman Walden has worked with me and my staff on additional refinements to the legislation. These changes included in the Managers amendment reflect the feedback of the expert agency and serve to strengthen the overall bill. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2844.”

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai also weighed in. He stated, “I commend the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passing the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act and applaud Subcommittee Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo and Representative Scalise for their leadership in sponsoring this common-sense piece of legislation. The FCC’s reporting requirements are numerous, burdensome, and sometimes obsolete. Replacing these disparate obligations with a single biennial Communications Marketplace Report will make better use of limited Commission resources. It will also provide Congress and the public with a comprehensive and far more useful set of data that better reflects the realities of today’s converged marketplace. I hope that this bipartisan legislation will soon be signed into law.”