Heller drops FCC reform bill

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) wants to change the operations at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

On Tuesday, the senator unveiled a bill intended to streamline the telecommunications regulator and open it up to greater transparency.

“This bill will help create an FCC that is more transparent and predictable, and provide individuals and businesses in the communications and technology sectors with the certainty they need to invest in infrastructure and grow their businesses,” he said in a statement.

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The FCC Process Reform Act would require the commission to set performance metrics for its programs, survey the current marketplace before writing any new regulations and determine that the benefits of a new rule would outweigh the costs. It would also call for the FCC to disclose more details about its internal procedures.

A similar piece of legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee late last year. Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) cheered that bill, from Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), as a “common ground” approach.

“These issues have won bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, and the Administration is acting as well. Unfortunately, there has been no action in the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee in recent years,” Heller said.

He added that he has worked with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House to craft his bill and urged the Senate Commerce Committee to take up the measure “quickly.”