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Incentive Auctions Are Part of GOP End-of-Year Package

Spectrum incentive auctions are included in a Republican year-end extender package, according to a copy of the House GOP Payroll Tax plan.

According to a summary of the year-end extender package proposals and offsets, one of the offsets is the $15 billion predicted deficit reductions from the proceeds of spectrum incentive auctions that will be left over after compensating broadcasters for moving off spectrum and paying for an emergency interoperable broadband network.

The auctions are billed in the GOP summary as advancing wireless, spurring billions in investment and creating thousands of jobs. They are also billed as voluntary, with the proceeds to come from "current licensees that are willing to return their licenses to the commission for re-auction."

The House had been expected to incorporate the spectrum legislation into the must-pass package. The House Communications Subcommittee last week passed the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act.

The House is scheduled to vote next week, or into next weekend, on a number of bills including the extender package. The bill includes such Democratic must-passes as extending the payroll tax holiday and extending unemployment insurance.