Ted Cruz's Cuba-Related Amendments Withdrawn

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has withdrawn a couple of amendments to an FCC reauthorization bill being marked up Wednesday in the Senate Commerce Committee that would have targeted Administration efforts to loosen communications restrictions on Cuba.

That is according to a copy of the revised amendments list. Also withdrawn was an amendment Cruz co-sponsored that would have reined in the FCC's preemption of state laws limiting municipal broadband buildouts.

A former presidential candidate, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was faring better. Still in the running at press time, though with modifications, was an amendment he introduced requiring a GAO study of federal spectrum opportunity costs and technology. Rubio has been a big backer of freeing up more spectrum for wireless broadband.

Other amendments biting the dust before the markup included one from Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) that would have required the FCC to review certain media ownership rules, one from Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) that would have provided a small business exemption (fewer than 250,0000 subs) from the enhanced transparency rule in the Open Internet order (a similar waiver has already passed the House).

Among the amendments still slated for consideration at press time were ones requiring 1) a report on the incentive auction repack, 2) that the Inspector General file semiannual reports to both Congress and the FCC, and 3) GAO reports on whether the FCC's regulatory fee structure has an outsized effect on small payers and one on waste and overbuilding in the E-rate program.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.