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Committee Approves FCC Process Reform Act

12-11-13

The House Energy and Commerce Committee today advanced two bipartisan pieces of legislation from the Communications and Technology Subcommittee that aim to improve FCC processes and federal spectrum use. Chairman Greg Walden said, “During my tenure as chairman of the subcommittee, reforming the Federal Communications Commission has been a focus of our legislative efforts. Communications and technology represent a significant portion of our national economy and today’s action will help fuel the innovation and investment in the communications and technology sectors that continue to create American jobs.”

The committee approved H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act with an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Chairman Greg Walden and Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The amendment represents a bipartisan compromise that presents the commission with a framework to bring additional transparency and predictability to the FCC. It also contains some statutory provisions, including changes to the sunshine rules and a permanent exception to the Antideficiency Act for the federal Universal Service Fund.

The committee also approved H.R. 3674, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, authored by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), which creates a new path for government spectrum users to relinquish spectrum and receive a portion of net auction revenues instead of relocation costs. Guthrie and Matsui are co-chairs of the subcommittee’s bipartisan Federal Spectrum Working Group, which continues to examine how the federal government can use the nation’s airwaves more efficiently.



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