House Hearing: Déjà vu All Over Again

It will be Déjà vu all over again at Friday's (May 15) House Communications Subcommittee hearing on proposed FCC reform legislation.

Scheduled to testify are Duke law professor (and resident Distinguished Scholar at the FCC under former chairman Democrat Julius Genachowski); Stuart Benjamin, former FCC commissioner and now senior fellow at the Hudson Institute; telecom attorney and former FCC commissioner Rob McDowell; and Free State Foundation president Randolph May.

They are scheduled to talk about a quartet of reform bills, three from the Republicans and a bipartisan reintroduction of a draft of the FCC Process Reform Act.

All three testified at a July 2013 FCC process reform hearing in front of the same subcommittee and the same chairman, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), when they were discussing the FCC Process Reform Act of 2011.

Benjamin thinks the new bills avoid issues he had with the reform act of 2013, according to his written testimony prepared for the hearing, adding that some disclosures can "do more harm than good." One thing he doesn't think will do more harm is allowing nonpublic collaborative discussions among commissioners, something Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), ranking member of the subcommittee, has long espoused.

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.