Walden, Stearns argue FCC process bill locks in reforms

The remaining workload issues “highlight the need for good process, and that’s why it’s important we move forward with process reform legislation now, so that the agency locks in the gains it has already made and so that the public will see it continue to improve into the future.”

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Oversight and Investigations subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) praised Genachowski‘s work to reduce the backlog of applications as evidence of a “commitment to good process.”

But Stearns noted that more than 3,600 petitions have been pending before the FCC for more than five years. “That’s a lifetime in today’s marketplace,” he said. “I hope the FCC will work to eliminate a significant amount of the backlog and show signs of improvement by its next report due in July.”

The White House expressed its opposition to the bill Monday. The House is expected to complete debate on up to 10 amendments and finish work on the bill by early evening before turning to debate on its 2013 budget Wednesday.

Even if the House passes the bill, there appears little likelihood of Senate action. A Senate Commerce Committee spokesman said “we have no plans to take up FCC reform.” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) has introduced companion legislation there.