The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today advanced legislation intended to streamline Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reporting requirements by reducing the number of reports the commission is obligated to produce. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) along with Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, H.R. 2844, will grant Congress, industry, and consumers timely access to the commission's best analysis of the communications landscape at the beginning of each Congress by requiring one Communications Marketplace Report instead of the eight separate reports currently required. The legislation also eliminates four outdated reports, including one on the status of competition in the telegraph industry.
"Reducing the burden on the FCC to produce multiple reports and instead produce one comprehensive and informative review of the marketplace is the kind of common-sense legislation that this committee has dedicated itself to in working to prepare our government to be more nimble in the information economy," said Chairman Walden.
"This bill is another step in the process of streamlining government so that businesses can focus their time and resources on growing and creating jobs, rather than being burdened by outdated and cumbersome mandates from the federal government. Every dollar spent on outdated FCC reporting mandates is a dollar that could be used to create jobs and develop new ideas that will grow our economy," said Scalise, who sponsored similar legislation last Congress. "I have renewed hope that as the House again works in a strong bipartisan fashion to move this bill, the Senate will take up Senator Heller's companion bill so that together we can get it to the president's desk for signature, during this congress."
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, "Eliminating outdated reports and streamlining existing ones will allow the commission to be more efficient and effective, reducing their administrative burden, and keeping pace with the rapid changes in this critical segment of the market. This bipartisan effort is a step in the right direction towards smarter government in the innovation era."
The subcommittee approved the legislation, as well as a bipartisan manager's amendment, by voice vote. The amendment allows a newly sworn in chairman who takes office just prior to the report's due date to have extra time to complete the portion of the report on the chairman's agenda and also clarifies that the bill does not change the FCC's authority to issue other reports.