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Inouye Wants Commissioners To Talk

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said Thursday he would reintroduce a bill to allow more than two commissioners to meet outside of the public meetings.

All the commissioners are agreed that those "sunshine" rules, which are meant to prevent back-room dealing, instead make it harder to come to consensus.

During the Senate Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing Thursday, Commissioner Copps pushed for such meetings, saying that he could not think of a recent proceeding that would not have benefitted from some such discussions.

The Bell South/AT&T merger is a case in point, where several meetings had to be delayed or cancelled when commissioners failed to come to agreement on conditions on the merger.

Unseparating church and state for a moment, Copps said that if such discussion is OK for the legislative and judicial branches and the Colelge of Cardinals, it is good enough for the FCC.