Republicans accuse Markey of rigging hearing for the disabled

Echoing the complaint, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) accused Markey of “intimidation” after he invited Acosta to directly address Shapiro.

“Mr. Shapiro, you just saw how the new tone in Washington is,” Terry said.

Markey’s bill updates technology requirements so that consumer electronics are accessible for people with disabilities. For instance, the legislation would ensure the availability of closed captioning on the latest devices and bring captions to online video.  

Industry heads and advocates for the blind and deaf split over whether the legislation is ready to move ahead, with CTIA executive vice president Bob Franklin and U.S. Telecom President Walt McCormick pushing for changes to it. 

Acosta said the bill is “urgently” needed, while Shapiro said it could create onerous requirements for start-ups.

“You cannot require every new technology to be responsive to every disability,” Shapiro said.

Markey blasted that characterization of the bill, citing exceptions in the measure for companies that cannot meet the requirement.

He also panned an editorial from Shapiro published in yesterday’s Washington Times called Dems Want to Redesign your iPhone, which he said was deceptive for failing to highlight the key exceptions in his bill.