Dems Complain of Short Notice on FCC Reauthorization Draft

The House Communications Subcommittee had some process issues of its own to work through, or at last talk about, Thursday (March 19).

That came in a Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing featuring all five commissioners, just one in a series of hearings called by the Republican majority after the FCC's Democratic majority voted to impose Title II regs on Internet access.

Subcommittee Democrats complained that the majority had only circulated a draft of their FCC reauthorization bill overhauling the agency's budget only 48 hours before the hearing, saying that was not enough time.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) pointed out that it was not a markup, and that the Democrats had not always given the week's notice that ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said was customary. He said the short notice was unfair to witnesses and members. Walden said he had a list of short notices when the Democrats were in charge.

Pallone suggested the committee might want to work on its own transparency issues before pointing fingers at the FCC and added that if Republicans want bipartisanship, they should provide more than 48 hours notice on drafts.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.