Senate Republicans Seek FCC Overhaul

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Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) has introduced the “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2014” which is intended to provide greater transparency and efficiency in the processes used by the FCC.  Senator Heller introduced similar legislation in 2013 which was not enacted. The Bill (S. 1989) would require the FCC to: undertake a Notice of Inquiry prior to initiating any new proposed rulemaking; require the FCC to identify a market failure, consumer harm or regulatory barrier to investment before adopting economically significant rules; require the FCC to establish internal performance measures, including internal shot clocks for all regulatory activities; and modify existing sunshine rules to allow for a bipartisan majority of Commissioners to meet for collaborative discussions in certain circumstances that are presently prohibited. The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Meanwhile, the FCC has undertaken an internal review of its own processes and is expected to shortly initiate a proceeding to accept public comment aimed at reforming and improving those processes.

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