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Eshoo: Reform Bills Have No Chance

Ranking House Communications Subcommittee member Rep. Anna
Eshoo (D-Calif.) says that FCC process reform legislation that is the subject
of a July 11 hearing has not, and will not, be going anywhere.

That is according to a copy of her opening statement for
that hearing.

She suggested that the committee would be better off
focusing on how federal agencies use spectrum and spending less time on
legislation that has been repeatedly debated.

While Republicans have argued that some of the proposed
changes -- specifically the limits on merger conditions -- is a way to prevent
the FCC from backdoor regulating, Eshoo suggested the legislation was a
"backdoor" way to gut FCC authority.

She did put in a plug for one element of the bill: A
proposal she backs to allow more than two commissioners to meet privately under
specific circumstances. She also supports allowing commissioners to appoint a
computer scientist of engineer to their staffs.

But ultimately she suggested the committee's
time was being spent on legislation that primarily "creates billable hours for
Washington telecom lawyers."