Committee Releases Report on the Workload of the Federal Communications Commission

November 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released a report on the Workload of the Federal Communications Commission. The report is a summary of data, requested by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), regarding the number of complaints, petitions, applications, and other pending items at the Commission.

Walden said, "This staff report confirms what everyone already knows: Chairman Genachowski has improved many of the processes of the Commission, but there is much work left to be done. That's why it's so important to move forward with process reform legislation now, so that the agency locks in the gains it has already made, and so that the public will see it continue to improve into the future."
 
Stearns said, "As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I have challenged agencies to rid themselves of unnecessary regulations and provide certainty to the industries they regulate. The Federal Communications Commission's recent closing of 999 dockets signifies Chairman Genachowski's commitment to good process, but much more needs to be done. Thousands of petitions and licenses have been pending at the Commission for more than five years, and the FCC has missed its own internal deadlines 29 percent of the time. The Commission has also repeatedly missed deadlines set by Congress, including the release of the Satellite Competition Report and Video Programming Report. Congress has tasked the FCC with reviewing the competitive landscapes of these industries annually in order to determine the appropriate regulatory framework. How can the agency appropriately regulate an industry it has not comprehensively analyzed since 2008? I hope the FCC will work on these shortcomings and show signs of improvement by its next report due in January. In the meantime, I will work with my colleagues on FCC process reform legislation."

The Communications and Technology Subcommittee will vote tomorrow on H.R. 3309, the "Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011," and H.R. 3310, the "Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011." These bills will improve the way the FCC operates by increasing transparency, predictability, and consistency as part of Republicans' ongoing effort to ensure the commission's work encourages job creation, investment, and innovation. Text of the legislation as well as a background memo can be found here.

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