FCC Opens June Meeting With Nod to U.S. Capitol Police

The FCC commissioners took a few moments at the beginning of the June public meeting to send their best wishes to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)—who is on the road to recovery after being shot last week at a congressional baseball game practice—and praise the officers who saved his and other lives. 

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he was shocked by the attack and hoped Scalise was on the mend, sending his thoughts and prayers. He also talked of the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police and the further carnage that could have ensued if they had not stood on the firing line.

That came as the FCC was preparing to vote—in the affirmative—to create a Blue emergency alert when police officers were in danger (injured, missing) from at-large suspects—much as the Amber alert signals a child is in danger. 

The vote was a great way to kick off Public Safety Month, said Pai of the unanimous approval to launch the alert.

Joining with Pai in noting the attacks last week were commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael O'Rielly. Clyburn noted that the two wounded officers had thrown out the first pitches at the congressional baseball game and the press vs. congress softball game, saying those pitches represented the "improvement and hope we are all embracing." 

She noted that Scalise had been upgraded from "grave" to "fair," saying she was very happy to hear that and that she was a member of team Scalise.  She said the attack demonstrated why the Blue alert was needed. 

O'Rielly sent his best wishes to Scalise, who he had worked with as a congressional staffer before joining the commission, and to the brave officers. He said he had talked to legislators who had visited Scalise, and they indicated he was doing better but that it would be a long road to recovery. He also talked of the injured staffers, who, as a former staffer, he said often blend into the background. 

O'Rielly also said he took to heart efforts to watch the rhetoric that has gotten so heated in Washington and said that they were all on the same team in trying to do their best for the country

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.