Muris: FTC budget cuts could be devastating

In response to Sen. Fritz Hollings' (D-S.C.) repeated comments that he may
write legislation to cut budgets and salaries at the Federal Trade Commission,
FTC chairman Timothy Muris said Monday that any such cuts
would 'eliminate the commission's ability to enforce the laws under its
jurisdiction. If Sen. Hollings were to succeed in eliminating the commissioners'
salaries, the agency would have no legal authority to move forward with its
responsibilities, including its rulemaking, investigative and law-enforcement

Hollings and Muris have been in a sort of feud after the FTC and
the Department of Justice agreed to split up their duties with regard to
reviewing industry mergers and the DOJ took responsibility for all media-related

Hollings was upset that he was not consulted before the plan was first announced
in January, and he's been giving the two agencies -- particularly the
FTC, which is under Hollings' committee jurisdiction -- a hard time ever since.

A spokesman for Hollings said the senator is frustrated with the FTC and its lack of
willingness to work with him. 'He's got serious questions about how this plan was
derived, so he's looking at a variety of options. Nothing has been prescribed yet,' the
spokesman added. 

An FTC spokeswoman said, 'We are eager to provide information and respond to

But a source said Muris has requested to meet with
Hollings and Hollings has refused to schedule any meeting, limiting the progress
the agency has been able to make.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.