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Government Speeds Political Postings

It apparently did not take long for the Office of Management and Budget to reject the National Association of Broadcasters’ arguments that the FCC underestimated the paperwork collection requirements of its new online political file posting rules.

NAB had argued that the FCC had miscalculated the burdens of compliance, or the duplication created by said file postings. According to the NAB, on June 21—eight work days after broadcasters submitted their comments—the OMB informed the FCC that it had approved the rules. On July 3, 30 days after the rules were published in the Federal Register, the requirement officially kicked in.

The FCC approved the rules in April, but the OMB had to sign off on the new requirements per the Paperwork Reduction Act, which requires regulators to justify additional reporting requirements of their regs. It was expected, but the speed with which it was accomplished— the Administration clearly wants the requirement to be a working part of this election cycle—was in contrast to, say, the network neutrality rules. It took the better part of two months to vet those.

Separately, the NAB has filed suit against the file-posting rules as arbitrary and capricious—they apply to TV stations, but not cable or satellite operators, which also must publicize who buys political time and ad prices, but don’t have to submit those files to the FCC to post nationally online.