Dem senator slams GOP's request to FCC chair

Dem senator slams GOP's request to FCC chair
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Sen. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMarkey challenges Democratic Senate campaign opponents to climate change debate Kennedy launches primary challenge against Markey Markey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday blasted GOP calls for Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler to avoid action on “controversial items" until the new administration.

"Blind and visually impaired individuals will suffer because Republicans and their allies on the Commission will not allow a vote to expand the amount of video-described programming available,” Markey said in a statement Wednesday.

"Small business, universities, hospitals, and public safety organizations will suffer because Republicans and their allies on the Commission won’t allow a vote on business data services," he said.

The FCC on Wednesday pulled several items from its open meeting agenda for Thursday, including pricing plans for business data services –– special access lines which businesses use to transfer large amounts of data –– and implementing video accessibility measures for visually impaired consumers.

The changes came after several Republicans sent letters to Wheeler on Tuesday asking him to not tackle "complex" or "controversial" issues in the FCC during the presidential transitional.

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' MORE (R-S.D), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) urged the FCC chairman to hold off. 

Thune has criticized Wheeler, accusing him of turning the FCC into a partisan organization and taking controversial regulatory positions on key issues like White House-backed net neutrality. Such issues have been a point of division between Wheeler and GOP lawmakers and Republican FCC commissioners.

The lawmakers's requests invoked the previous request of Democrats in 2008 who asked then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to avoid controversial issues during the transition from George W. Bush to Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaKrystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans Sanders campaign announces it contacted over 1 million Iowa voters Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE.

GOP Commissioners Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly praised the request to Wheeler on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Wheeler’s office said that they were reviewing the letters and declined to comment.

Updated: 5:45 p.m.