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Pallone & Doyle to Pai: It’s Oversight Time

Feb 4, 2019
Press Release
“Under your leadership, the FCC has failed repeatedly to act in the public interest and placed the interest of corporations over consumers”

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai today requesting information and documents related to the FCC’s current workload, the work of its bureaus and offices, and the FCC’s interactions with the public through its handling of consumer complaints and Freedom of Information Act requests. 

As part of their request, Pallone and Doyle wrote that the Committee was reassuming its traditional role of oversight to ensure the agency is acting in the best interest of the public and consistent with its legislative authority.  Since Pai assumed the Chairmanship at the FCC two years ago, the agency has been unresponsive to Committee Democrats’ numerous and reasonable oversight requests.

“Not only have you have failed on numerous occasions to provide Democratic members of this Committee with responses to their inquiries, you have also repeatedly denied or delayed responding to legitimate information requests from the public about agency operations,” the Chairmen wrote to Pai.  “These actions have denied the public of a full and fair understanding of how the FCC under your leadership has arrived at public policy decisions that impact Americans every day in communities across the country.”

In their letter, the Committee Chairmen requested that Pai provide information updating the Committee on FCC activities, including consumer complaints the FCC has received on various topics, including: robocalls/spoofing, privacy, open internet/internet service speed, wireless service coverage/availability, access for individuals with disabilities, billing, rural call completion, telemarketing and unwanted calls. Similar requests were made to Pai’s predecessor. 

“Under your leadership, the FCC has failed repeatedly to act in the public interest and placed the interest of corporations over consumers.  The FCC should be working to advance the goals of public safety, consumer protection, affordable access and connectivity across the United States,” the Chairmen continued.  “To that end, it is incumbent upon the Committee’s leadership and its members to oversee the activities of the FCC.” 

The Committee Chairmen requested written responses to their questions by no later than March 4, 2019.

The letter is available HERE.

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