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Public Statements

Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to this bill. That is not to say that I am pleased with how this FCC has conducted its business.

It has been slow and evasive when responding to inquiries from myself and my colleagues on important matters pending before the Commission.

It has taken an activist approach to regulating, as we saw with their network neutrality proceeding.

It wrongly squelched a merger that stopped an American company from acquiring a foreign owned competitor and then released proprietary and confidential information in what appeared to be an effort to salt the earth for any future attempts at a similar deal and influence the proceeding at the DOJ. This has set a troubling precedent.

Not everything that this FCC has done is bad. While I opposed the Comcast/NBC merger, I am appreciative that the FCC had the latitude to impose conditions. For instance, my constituents will benefit from the conditions aimed to preserve localism and diversity. It included an additional 1,000 hours annually of locally produced news and information to be aired by NBC's and Telemundo's owned and operated stations, as well as quarterly reports from Comcast-NBCU detailing the number, nature, and duration of these additional local news and information programs. This condition would not be possible under H.R. 3309.

I believe the FCC plays an important role; it is a necessary agency and can foster innovation and economic growth. But we have seen again and again a pattern of overreach, of regulatory strong arming, and aggressive actions aimed at achieving an agenda, rather than implementing the laws passed by Congress.

The FCC process is in need of reform, but the Republican proposal before us today is not the answer.


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