The effort to streamline the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) reporting process is gaining momentum in Congress. Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) today introduced the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, H.R. 2844, and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) is set to introduce the Senate version Monday to reduce the burden on the FCC to produce multiple reports and instead require the production of one comprehensive and informative review of the marketplace. The House and Senate legislation would combine eight annual reports into a single biennial Communications Marketplace Report, and repeals the annual Telegraph Report, which was signed into law in 1934. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a vote on the legislation next Wednesday.
"The reports Congress has mandated the FCC to produce over the years are rarely submitted on time and do not always reflect the current state of competition in the marketplace adequately. Democrats and Republicans agree that it makes sense to consolidate these reports and issue them at one time in the beginning of a new Congress. Such a move will reduce reporting burdens on the FCC and private industry while giving a cleaner picture of competition in the marketplace. Chairman Walden and I are committed to working across the aisle and with the Federal Communication Commission as we advocate for this common sense reform in our respective Chambers of Congress," said Senator Heller.
"Requiring telegraph reporting in the smart phone age makes no sense and is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Crafting a more nimble government for an information economy has been a goal of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and today's introduction of the bipartisan FCC Consolidated Reporting Act is a positive step toward achieving that goal," said House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), whose subcommittee approved the measure by voice vote Thursday. "Eliminating the telegraph report and creating one report on the many, increasingly commingled aspects of the communications marketplace are commonsense reforms that will reduce the burden on the FCC and result in a more meaningful analysis for policymakers and the public. I am pleased that the bill is moving expeditiously in the House and am hopeful that the Senate will address the companion legislation soon to be introduced by Senator Heller."
"The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act is another step in the process of streamlining government so that businesses can focus their resources on growing and creating jobs, rather than being burdened by outdated regulations from the federal government," said Scalise. "Every dollar spent on outdated FCC reporting mandates is a dollar that could be used to create jobs and build-out infrastructure. Too often, Congress puts more laws on the books which convolute and distort the rules, but this bipartisan effort in the House that I'm proud to lead will actually shrink and streamline the government."
"The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act recognizes that there are opportunities to streamline many of the outdated reporting requirements Congress has placed on the FCC. At a time when agency resources are limited, we should ensure the FCC is as efficient as possible to best serve the American people," said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.