House Hears it For Passing FCC Process Reform Act

The House was getting some love Wednesday for its approval of the FCC Process Reform Act, which passed overwhelmingly March 11.

The legislation, among other things, gives the FCC a year to set minimum comment periods, establishes procedures for putting specific language of a proposed rule in notices of proposed rulemaking, and comes up with performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of rules.

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was in Mumbai for a conference, but still managed to send his congratulations.

"I applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2013, H.R. 3675, and I commend the leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology—Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Eshoo—for their bipartisan efforts to advance this legislation."

"I hope that this common-sense bill, as well as the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013, H.R. 2844, which the House of Representatives passed 415 to 0 back in September, will soon be enacted into law. Together, these bills recognize the need to modernize the FCC to reflect our dynamic, converged communications marketplace. And they would eliminate outdated mandates on the agency, streamline its operations, and make it more accountable to the public. These are two pieces of straightforward, good-government legislation, and I hope that the President will soon have the opportunity to sign them."

There was more hand-clapping from the cable industry.

"We applaud members of the House for passing the FCC Process Reform Act, and especially thank Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Eshoo for their work on this bill," said the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. "This bipartisan legislation furthers the important objective of encouraging greater transparency and predictability in FCC decision making, and ensures that business can continue to invest and innovate with more consistent federal oversight. We hope the Senate will soon consider and approve this legislation.”

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.