FCC Chairman Sets August Target to Strike Fairness Doctrine and Other Outdated Regulations from Rulebooks

June 28, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today responded to the Federal Communications Commission's agreement to eliminate the Fairness Doctrine and other outdated regulations by August. Chairman Genachowski initially agreed to strike the Fairness Doctrine from the Code of Federal Regulations in response to an inquiry made by Upton and Walden on May 31.
"We are pleased that Chairman Genachowski has finally set a target for striking the Fairness Doctrine from the rulebooks once and for all," said Upton and Walden. "The rules are outdated, unnecessary, and needlessly endanger our sacred freedoms of speech and the press. The Commission says it plans to eliminate these obsolete rules through a streamlined, delegated-authority process, and we will continue to monitor the issue until they are fully repealed."
In addition to the Fairness Doctrine, the FCC Chairman has agreed to review and eliminate antiquated regulations that hamper economic and job growth in line with President Obama's Executive Order. In particular, Chairman Genachowski said that his staff already adheres to the directive that all major new rules be accompanied by an analysis of costs and benefits and is working with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on best practices going forward.
"The committee appreciates Chairman Genachowski's agreement that burdensome regulations -even those not subject to President Obama's Executive Order -should be subject to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis before adoption," said Upton and Walden. "We are also dedicated to assisting the FCC's efforts to eliminate burdensome regulations in order to unleash private sector investment, spur growth, and create jobs for the American people. The committee urges the FCC to coordinate its plans to review and repeal job-crushing regulations with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)."
To read full text of a related letter sent to OIRA last week, click here.