House Communications Subcommittee Approves FCC Reform Bills

The Republican-led House Communications Subcommittee voted
out twoFCC process reform bills Thursday, reporting them favorably for mark-up in
the full committee.

But Democrats still had issues with the FCC Process Reform
Act and signaled there would need to be compromises in full-committee markup.

There was less disagreement on the FCC Consolidated Reporting
Act, which would combine a number of FCC reports.

"I support the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013
which recognizes that there are opportunities to streamline many of the
outdated reporting requirements Congress has placed on the FCC," ranking
committee member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said in a statement following the vote.
"At a time in which agency resources are limited, we should ensure the FCC
is maximizing its staff time."

And while she praised revisions to that bill that suggested
to her a willingness by the majority to find common ground, she said it was no
surprise should could not support provisions in the bill she says "guts
the FCC's ability to protect the public interest in media and telecom

The bill would, among other things, limit the conditions the
FCC can impose on media mergers.

Similarbills also passed out of committee last session and were approved by the
full House before failing to gain traction in the Democratically controlled

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.