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Shimkus Downplays FCC Investigation

John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the ranking member of the House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee investigating the FCC's regulatory processes, says he doesn't think the investigation "will amount to a lot," but expects the subcommittee will have an oversight hearing.

In an interview with C-SPAN for its Communicators Series, Shimkus conceded that Republicans when they controlled Congress did not do a good enough job of really scrutinizing federal agencies. "As conservative Republicans we ought to. It shouldn't matter who is in the White House. That should be our job." But he says the investigation isn't out to "find a crook," a point he says he makes to his colleagues.

The investigation is into the FCC's processes and how it makes its rules. He says the goal is more transparency intothat process.

He said he believes the FCC has been cooperative. He says there was some initial "cantakerous language" back and for that the beginning of the year," he said, but said he thinks things have calmed down. "They don't want legislators meddling; we're legislators, we like to meddle."

The subcommittee investigation stems from a number of complaints, both inside and outside of the FCC, about its handling of the media-ownership-rule review, from how media-ownership studies were handled, to lobbyist access to information, to how the eventually rule change was announced -- in The New York Times.