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Second Hearing on Reforming FCC Process Scheduled for June 22

The House Communications Subcommittee is holding a second hearing June 22 on "Reforming FCC Process."

The first hearing was May 13.

The committee's chairman, Greg Walden (R-Ore.), himself a former broadcaster, has expressed keen interest in FCC reform.

At that May 13 hearing, he proposed some possible changes: shot clocks for decisions, conducting cost-benefit analyses on regulations, allowing commissioners collectively to initiate items rather than just the chairman--which he called simply "conversation starters."

In an April speech to the American Cable Association, Walden said he thinks that reform can be achieved in a "positive and constructive way," likening it to Republican's rewriting of the House rules--Walden was chairman of the GOP transition team--to make it more "open, transparent and accountable" by requiring legislation to be online three days before a vote and reducing the size of bills. "I think we can do that at the FCC," he said.

Walden was one of the Republicans critical of how the FCC produced its network neutrality rule decision, which came out just before Christmas.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has made openness and transparency watchwords bordering on buzzwords for the commission already, but Walden's take is that: "We can create an FCC where you make the decision after discovering there is actually a problem rather than announce the rules, then build a case, then lose it in court," Walden told ACA. He did not say he was talking about the network neutrality rules he opposes, but he did not have to.