The two key communications players on the Republican side of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Fred Upton (R-MI) and Greg Walden (R-OR) expressed their pleasure at the news that the Fairness Doctrine had been stricken from the body of FCC regulation. But they repeated their call for process reform at the Commission so that other rules they deem unnecessary aren’t created in the future.
In a joint statement, the duo said, “The Fairness Doctrine is a relic of an earlier era when government officials thought they knew best what news and information the American people wanted and needed. The rules are outdated and needlessly endanger our sacred freedoms of speech and the press. The FCC has finally done what it should have done 20 years ago: It has scrapped the Fairness Doctrine once and for all.”
Even with the demise of Fairness and 82 other pieces of regulation, the pair was not satisfied. They continued, “We are pleased that the Commission has taken a step toward regulatory reform by striking obsolete rules from its books. And Chairman Genachowski has taken another step by promising to develop a plan for the review of existing regulations in compliance with the president’s recent Executive Order. But real regulatory reform requires more—regulators should propose rules before adopting them, give the public adequate time to review those rules, and only adopt rules if the benefits outweigh the costs. The FCC has not always followed these best practices, and that’s why we are moving forward on FCC process reform. Good government practices—transparent government practices—are a necessary ingredient for eliminating the regulatory overhang that deters the investment and job creation our economy so desperately needs.”