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FCC Reg Reform Bill Markup Slated for Nov. 16

The House Communications Subcommittee said Thursday it would mark up two FCC reform bills Nov. 16. That is when a committee, or subcommittee, considers amendments and votes on a bill.

The bills (HR 3309 and 3310) would require the FCC to justify regulations according to costs and benefits, survey the state of the marketplace periodically, and before initiating any new rulemakings, take other steps to make sure the public is getting bang for its regulatory buck. It is part of a broader Republican effort to apply cost-benefit analysis and other requirements on new regulations.

While the bill has a chance to pass the Republican-controlled House, it would likely be a tough climb in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

"Since day one, Chairman Genachowski has directed the agency to improve performance and processes to support innovation, economic growth and America's global competitiveness," an FCC spokesman said last week, when the bills were introduced. "We've made impressive strides, such as reducing Commission backlogs, including an 89% reduction in satellite licensing applications and a 30% reduction in broadcast licensing applications, closing 999 dormant proceedings and increasing the number of Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) that contained the text of proposed rules from 38% before the Chairman's appointment to 85%. We've also significantly reduced the time between the vote on a Commission decision and its release, from an average release time of 14 calendar days before the Chairman's appointment to just three calendar days, with a majority released within one day."