Representatives Introduce FCC Reform Bill

May 1, 2009

Washington - Apr 30, 2009 - U.S. Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), introduced H.R. 2183, a bill that would reform some of the Federal Communications Commission's regulatory processes. Barton made the following statement on the bill:

"Today I, along with Mr. Stearns, introduce legislation designed to reform some of the Federal Communications Commission's byzantine regulatory processes. As the pace of competition and technological change increases in our country's communications markets, sound decision-making at the FCC and faith in how it makes those decisions become all the more important. Not only are the issues far more complex, they affect far more Americans and American businesses than ever before. The bill would do much to improve the quality of the FCC's decisions and the country's trust in the agency."

Key points of the bill:

  • Codify the notion that the FCC should let the public see proposed rules before it adopts them
  • Provide the public with a realistic amount of time to comment on actions.
  • Require the FCC to provide at least 30 days for comments and 30 days for replies on published language of proposed rules.
  • Requires at least 30 days after the submission of reply comments, as well as an adequate amount of time for commission review of a draft document, before the FCC renders a decision.
  • Require the FCC to set deadlines for action on the various types of decisions it makes.
  • Once an FCC decision is made, make that text available to the public within 30 days.
  • Require the FCC to publish a schedule of all its statistical reports.

    A copy of the bill is posted online.

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