House Republicans might push spectrum policy opposed by Verizon, AT&T

House Republicans may endorse a spectrum proposal opposed by the nation's two largest wireless companies.

An Energy and Commerce Committee memo obtained by The Hill's Healthwatch lists spectrum legislation as a priority, and says that it "might include" a commercial auction of valuable D Block spectrum. 

AT&T and Verizon oppose such an auction because it gives smaller competitors such as T-Mobile a better shot at controlling this portion of the airwaves.

The move would make Republicans on the committee allies of the Democratic Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It would also mean the GOP is siding with the top committee Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) over Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va). 

Waxman drafted a bill last year that included a D Block auction, while Rockefeller dealt a blow to the FCC by instead writing a bill that would directly allocate the block to public safety—a policy favored by first responder groups, Verizon, and AT&T.

Spectrum legislation is listed as the second priority for the telecom subcommittee after passing a resolution of disapproval aimed at repealing net-neutrality rules. 

The committee memo also said spectrum legislation might endorse voluntary spectrum auctions that would allow broadcasters to sell off their pieces of the airwaves so more spectrum can go to mobile broadband, a policy priority for the FCC.