Free Press Action Fund Slams Congressional Efforts to Hamstring FCC

Contact Info: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, House Republicans introduced two bills aimed at hindering the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to implement rules and review transactions.

The FCC Process Reform Act would severely limit the Commission’s authority over transaction reviews, and gives industry lobbyists and trade associations new ways to dominate comment cycles and drown out the voices of everyday citizens.

The Consolidated Reporting Act would eliminate reporting requirements the FCC currently has in place to assess everything from how cable prices affect consumers to how broadcasters meet the public interest obligations that come with their use of public airwaves. It would also gut a 2008 law that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and requires the FCC to conduct detailed comparisons between the U.S. and other broadband markets across the globe.

Joel Kelsey, political adviser for the Free Press Action Fund, made the following statement:

“We could not agree more that the FCC is sorely in need of reform. However, the bills that were introduced today seem more focused on protecting giant telecom companies from FCC oversight rather than protecting consumers.

"A real FCC reform bill would end the long history of agency capture by the industries it was meant to regulate, but the bills introduced today would instead hamstring the FCC and subject the agency to lawsuits at every turn.

“At a time when the public is rightly concerned with the decades-long rise of concentrated financial power in Washington, we are puzzled that the House Majority would introduce legislation that guarantees further corporate recklessness and creates new spools of red tape.These two new bills are not about creating jobs, they're about stopping the FCC from protecting consumers in the face of industry opposition.

“People are desperate for change in Washington and across the nation, but this effort is yet another in a long list of dangerous policies that allow a few giant companies to co-opt government to serve their narrow interests and pad their profits on the backs of hardworking Americans.”

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good