The 113th Congress will mark the last go-around for Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). He has laid out a typical agenda for the committee – and like the FCC, his principal communications concern is broadband. However, he is ready to dig into media content and its effect on children.
His three areas of concern are creating jobs, investing in the future and protection consumers. The media content plank falls under the third category.
Rockefeller has been a critic of media content in the past, and has expressed particular dismay at some of the things on television.
The only other broadcast presence on his laundry list of issues is implied – the effort to increase the availability of broadband involved the incentive auction of spectrum in the television band, so work on that issue has great potential to involve broadcasters on the television side.
Here is Rockefeller’s complete agenda for the 113th Congress:
CREATING JOBS TO COMPETE IN 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY
* Increasing the competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector
* Improving our infrastructure and the public’s safety through key investments in rail, highways, and pipelines
* Preparing Americans for a digital economy by closing the digital divide and expanding access to broadband – wired and wireless
* Maximizing our investments in scientific research and strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education through reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act
* Making sure that, as warmer temperatures and new technologies generate increased economic activity in the Arctic, we do not ignore the need for responsible environmental stewardship
* Reviewing whether existing cruise line industry regulations sufficiently protect passengers and the environment
* Promoting the development of the economic potential of natural gas (energy) in a safe and environmentally responsible way
INVESTING IN A FUTURE FOR ALL AMERICANS
* Oversight of critical government programs, including:
* Federal Aviation Administration, including the agency’s efforts to modernize the air transportation system
* FirstNet implementation, which will provide our nation’s first responders with an interoperable broadband communications network
* Working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on MAP-21 directives to increase motor vehicle and truck safety
* Monitoring the Federal budget process to prioritize safety and minimize impacts to vital programs that affect the flow of commerce and transportation
* Increasing access to telecommunications and broadband infrastructure for schools and communities through the E-Rate program
* Strengthening forensic science through research and advancing the development of science-based standards for adoption by forensic labs
* Recruiting and training cybersecurity personnel to ensure the federal government has the necessary workforce to secure our nation from cyber threats
* Protecting lives, communities, and property by improving our nation’s ability to predict severe weather conditions with advancements in technology and services
* Safeguarding consumer information and strengthening privacy protections on the Internet, including an investigation into the business practices of companies that collect and sell consumer data
* Studying the impact of violent and indecent media content on children
* Promoting competition and increasing consumer choice in video content
* Holding the health insurance industry accountable for its business and marketing practices
* Cracking down on consumer fraud, including telephone billing scams, and monitoring the impact technological developments have on consumers to ensure bad actors cannot take advantage of consumer confusion
* Continuing oversight of key federal agencies with consumer protection mandates, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Surface Transportation Board, and the Federal Communications Commission