House Unanimously Amends S.253 and Tacks On Eight Bipartisan E&C Provisions to Reform FCC Process and Modernize Communications Laws for the 21st Century
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today unanimously amended and approved S. 253, the Communications Act Update Act of 2016. The bill contains eight Energy and Commerce Committee bills that have previously passed the House or have unanimously passed the committee. S. 253 now heads back to the Senate for final consideration.
“This bill encompasses nearly two years of legislative activity. This legislation is further evidence of our dedication to advancing thoughtful solutions that empower consumers and small businesses, make the FCC more transparent, and enhance our public safety communications networks. The Communication Act Update of 2016 lays an important foundation as we work to update our laws for the innovation era,” said Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR).
The bills included in the package are as follows (in order by Title of the amendment to S. 253):
- H.R. 2583, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act, sponsored by Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). Previously passed the House November 16, 2015, by voice vote.
- H.R. 734, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act, sponsored by House Majority Whip and committee member Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). Previously passed the House February 24, 2015, by a vote of 411 to 0.
- H.R. 4596, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, sponsored by Chairman Walden. Previously passed the House March 16, 2016, by a vote of 411 to 0.
- H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Previously passed the House May 23, 2016, by voice vote.
- H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). Previously passed the House May 23, 2016, by a vote of 389 to 2.
- H.R. 2669, Anti-Spoofing Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and co-authored by committee members Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). Previously passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee September 21, 2016, by voice vote.
- H.R. 1301, Amateur Radio Parity Act, sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Previously passed the House September 12, 2016, by voice vote.
- H.R. 2566, Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability, sponsored by Rep. David Young (R-IA). Previously passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee September 21, 2016, by voice vote.
“These eight bills are further testament that the Energy and Commerce Committee is a legislative workhorse. Another hallmark of the committee is that we try to take advantage of every opportunity to advance our legislative priorities,” said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “Greater government transparency, improving rural phone call quality, protecting consumers – these are all wildly popular and have achieved near unanimous support in the House. Hopefully, this effort helps clear the logjam and we will start to see real progress. Folks in Southwest Michigan and across the country are counting on us to get these bills across the finish line to modernize our communications laws for the 21st century.”