Thune Takes to Floor to Blast FCC


John ThuneSenate Commerce Committee Chairman and South Dakota Republican John Thune took to the chamber floor Thursday to criticize FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the agency in general.

At issue is whether the chairman authorized an alleged press leak earlier in the year over a telephony issue. In a letter, Wheeler said he has not provided written authorization for such disclosure of nonpublic information since he’s been chairman nor has he authorized anyone doing that on his behalf.

Thune suggested in his speech Wheeler danced around the issue. The inspector general is looking into whether a leak really occurred.

Thune said independent agencies need to be accountable to the public but the commission has been acting more like an arm of the executive branch.

RBR+TVBR observation: This should add to the fireworks next week when the commissioners appear before Congress. Former radio owner Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden’s House subcommittee is planning an FCC oversight hearing Tuesday.