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Energy and Commerce Democrats Unveil Plan to Keep the FCC Fast, Efficient, And Transparent

Apr 30, 2015
Press Release

“The FCC must remain as agile as the industries it oversees,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).  “The Democratic members of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee have come together and put together a smart, commonsense plan to keep the FCC fast, efficient, and transparent.  Our plan makes certain that the FCC stays a model of effective government.”

The FCC Should be Fast

Whether it’s an application for a license or a request for new rules, the public deserves timely responses from the FCC.  Over the past several years, the Commission has made strides to speed its decision making.  But the best way to ensure that future administrations live up to this standard is to hold them accountable to the public they serve.

Legislative Proposal: A draft bill offered by Rep. Clarke (D-NY) would require the FCC to report quarterly to Congress and to post on the FCC website data on the total number of decisions pending categorized by Bureau, the type of request, and how long the requests have been pending. The report also includes a list of pending Congressional investigations and their cost to the agency.


The FCC Should be Efficient

The FCC’s ability to operate efficiently should not be bogged down by unnecessary and bureaucratic restrictions.  For instance, a current law restricting a majority of Commissioners from meeting forces needless shuttle diplomacy.  We should free the Commissioners to collaborate more easily and find consensus more efficiently.

Legislative Proposal: Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) is sponsoring the FCC Collaboration Act, which will allow three FCC Commissioners to collaborate more effectively.


The FCC Should be Transparent

Small businesses and consumers should have as much visibility into the operations of the FCC as big corporate interests and their high-priced telecommunications lawyers.  Public participation at the FCC is at an all-time high; the millions of Americans reaching out to the FCC have the right to know how the agency makes decisions. 

Legislative Proposal: Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA) offered a draft bill that would require the Chairman to post the Commission’s internal procedures on the FCC website and update the website when the Chairman makes any changes.

Legislative Proposal: A draft bill offered by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) would require the FCC to coordinate with the Small Business Administration and issue recommendations to improve small business participation in FCC proceedings.