Walden Announces Bipartisan Agreements on FCC Process Reform and Legislation to Improve Federal Spectrum Use

December 9, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today announced that members of the subcommittee have reached bipartisan agreements on both the FCC Process Reform Act and the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, Both pieces of legislation are set to be considered at this week’s full committee markup.

Chairman Walden and Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) today submitted an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act. The amendment represents a bipartisan compromise that presents the commission with a framework to bring additional transparency and predictability to the FCC. It also contains some statutory provisions including changes to the sunshine rules and a permanent exception to the Antideficiency Act for the federal Universal Service Fund.

“For the last three years this subcommittee has diligently worked to improve the transparency and predictability of FCC processes,” explained Walden. “I am pleased that we were able to achieve a bipartisan consensus on a path forward to give consumers and businesses with matters before the commission a more transparent and certain process. I thank the minority for their work on this important piece of legislation and look forward to the Senate’s prompt action on this bipartisan effort to boost transparency.”

The committee will also consider H.R. 3674, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, authored by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), which creates a new path for government spectrum users to relinquish spectrum and receive a portion of net auction revenues instead of relocation costs. Guthrie and Matsui are co-chairs of the subcommittee’s bipartisan Federal Spectrum Working Group, which continues to examine how the federal government can use the nation’s airwaves more efficiently.

“By providing an incentive for government users to more efficiently use spectrum by sharing in some of the financial benefits, this bipartisan legislation is yet another example of our members working together to promote innovation and create jobs by helping provide additional spectrum to meet consumers demand for more wireless broadband,” said Walden. “I thank Reps. Guthrie and Matsui, the co-chairs of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s working group, for their leadership on this issue and for introducing the bill."

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