Republicans propose overhaul of FCC

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"Stifling the technology sector with onerous regulations will only impede new job creation at a time when we need jobs most," Heller said. "Stopping oppressive regulations will be critical to getting our nation’s economy moving again and this legislation is a step in the right direction.” 

The bill would add additional steps to the FCC's rulemaking process by requiring a notice of inquiry before any new proceedings to gauge the state of the telecom marketplace.

The commission would then be required to identify a market failure or regulatory barrier to investment before adopting new regulations. It would also have to perform a cost-benefit analysis to prove the rules are an overall benefit to the public interest.

"If we are going to get Americans working again, Congress must take action and remove the weight of big government from our nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs," Heller said.

"The technology sector has helped power economic growth in our country for the last 20 years and will continue to if big government does not over burden it."

The bill would change the current so-called sunshine rules to allow a bipartisan majority of commissioners to meet, and consolidate the agency's eight separate reports to Congress on the communications industry into a single, comprehensive report.

The legislation also requires the FCC to track the performance of all its programs, examine regulations for rules that are outdated or antiquated, and ensure any transactions placed on mergers are narrow and designed to combat transaction-specific harms.


Update: An FCC spokesman sent the following statement in response to a request for comment:

“Since day one, Chairman [Julius] Genachowski has directed the agency to improve performance and processes to support innovation, economic growth and America’s global competitiveness. We’ve made impressive strides, such as reducing Commission backlogs, including an 89% reduction in satellite licensing applications and a 30% reduction in broadcast licensing applications, closing 999 dormant proceedings and increasing the number of Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) that contained the text of proposed rules from 38% before the Chairman’s appointment to 85%. We’ve also significantly reduced the time between the vote on a Commission decision and its release, from an average release time of 14 calendar days before the Chairman’s appointment to just three calendar days, with a majority released within one day.”

This post was updated at 1:43 p.m.