Waxman Takes Issue With GOP Knock on FCC

In his opening statement for a markup on several bills, House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) took issue with a statement from the committee's leadership criticizing FCC process.

Last week, HEC committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), issued a press release saying "the process is clearly broken and something smells rotten on the [FCC's] Eighth Floor [where the FCC commissioners reside].

Waxman cited that press release and its complaints about the FCC using an "irregular process." He said he disagreed with the assessment, then turned the criticism on the committee.

Waxman complained that the committee was marking up bills, including the LABEL Act and an anti-spoofing bill, without subcommittee markups, which is the regular order. Waxman said bad process can produce bad results, but supported those bills as "common sense" legislation, even if he did not support the process.

"While they were not voted on in subcommittee," he said, " I support their passage."

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.