Lawmakers To FCC: Hold Off On Controversial Issues

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Republican Congressman Greg Walden (pictured) alongside Republican FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, is asking FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to hold off on “complex and controversial” decisions during the presidential transition period. Pai said in a statement that he welcomes the letter and urged Wheeler to honor the request and withdraw major items on the FCC’s November meeting agenda. Sen. John Thune, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a similar request. 

Walden’s letter was co-signed by Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton; Walden, a former radio station owner, chairs the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The letter refers to a similar request made to then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin by Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Jay Rockefeller in 2008, during the transition from the Bush to Obama administrations; Martin honored that request. 

Upton and Walden write, “We strongly urge you to concentrate the commission’s attention and resources only on matters that require action under the law and efforts to foster the success of the broadcast incentive auction.” 

In O’Rielly’s statement, he says that Martin “wisely heeded the will of Congress in setting aside any remaining controversial agenda items for the next Congress and administration to consider” and said he expects Wheeler to do the same. 

Among the announced items on the agenda (https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2016/11/november-2016-open-commission-meeting) for tomorrow’s November meeting are rules to regulate prices in business data services, the “mobility fund” to expand broadband availability, mobile roaming standards, and descriptive audio for video programming.

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