Press Release

E&C Approves Nine #SubCommTech Bills to Increase FCC Transparency and Boost Public Safety


04.28.16

Kelsey Smith Act Among Important Bills Passed During 3-Day Proceedings


WASHINGTON, DC – Building on the momentum of yesterday’s approval of nine #SubHealth bills to fight opioid abuse and streamline EMT requirements for veterans, and one #SubEnergyPower bill to reauthorize pipeline safety, the Energy and Commerce Committee today passed nine #SubCommTech bills to boost public safety and increase FCC transparency. Following consideration of the #SubCommTech bills, the committee approved three additional bills to fight opioid abuse.  Over the three day proceeding, a total of 22 bills were approved, further advancing the committee’s ongoing bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess.

The committee approved the following #SubCommTech bills (in order by consideration):

H.R. 4889, the Kelsey Smith Act, authored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), would require telecommunications carriers to share location data if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.

H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, authored by Louie Gohmert (R-TX), would require that any multi-line telephone system connects directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.

H.R. 4111, Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for Universal Service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities. 

H.R. 4190, Spectrum Challenge Prize of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), would create a prize program through NTIA to award up to $5 million to participants who develop groundbreaking solutions to maximize spectrum efficiency.

H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), would require the FCC to examine the resiliency of networks during these events. In addition, it amends the Stafford Act to ensure all categories of communications service providers may access disaster sites to restore service.

H.R. 2031, Anti-Swatting Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), would create enhanced penalties for those who use false or misleading caller ID information to trigger a response by law enforcement agencies, known as “swatters.”

H.R. 2589, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to publish on its Internet website changes to the rules of the Commission not later than 24 hours after adoption, authored by committee member Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), would require the FCC to publish new rules not later than 24 hours after dissenting statements are filed.

H.R. 2592, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to publish on the website of the Commission documents to be voted on by the Commission, authored by committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), would require the FCC to publish the draft of a rulemaking, order, report or any other action when it is circulated to the commissioners for a vote. The bill does not prevent the FCC from making changes to the item after it has been circulated, but allows the public to see what the chairman is proposing to the rest of the commission.

H.R. 2593, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require identification and description on the website of the Federal Communications Commission of items to be decided on authority delegated by the Commission, authored by committee member Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), would require the FCC to publish a list of items that are placed on delegated authority – that is, decided at the bureau level in lieu of a commission vote.

“Whether it’s dialing 9-1-1, providing tools to law enforcement, or promoting connectivity during disasters, these bills are intended to improve the way Americans are protected in times of emergency. Among these bills is the Kelsey Smith Act, an important bill that will require telecommunications carriers to share location data if law enforcement believes someone is in danger or serious harm,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “We also approved three bills that have one simple goal: increase transparency at the agency. By requiring the FCC to publicly post work product, rule changes, and delegations of authority, industry and the public alike benefit from increased visibility into the process.”

For an archived webcast, background memo, bill text, and amendments, click HERE.

 

### 

Press Release