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Public Statements

Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the distinguished subcommittee chairman.

Texas Congressmen don't often quote Shakespeare, but I'm going to attempt it. There's a line in Hamlet that goes something to the effect: Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

And my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle seem to be protesting too much. It's a very modest bill, 20-something pages in length. It's basically a good government bill.

The bill basically says that the FCC, before they issue a rule, they've got to actually put it out for public comment for at least 30 days. Then once they formalize it, they have to let people have another 30 days to comment on what they actually are proposing.

Subcommittee Chairman Walden circulated a draft bill. To my knowledge, he circulated it to the entire committee and to the industry and the stakeholders. I know in my case I had a few modest suggestions that were incorporated in the bill. Then when it went to subcommittee, I offered an amendment that was accepted.

He did the same process at full committee.

It came to the Rules Committee. I'm told that there were 10 amendments that had been made in order, with eight of those by my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle. We'll have that debate and the vote on those later today or tomorrow.

So here you have a very modest bill with good government transparency reporting that brings the FCC into the 21st century on how to do business, and you would think that we're going back to the dark ages. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm in very strong support of the process, which is important, and also the policy and the legislation that has resulted from it. I would hope that on a bipartisan basis, at the appropriate time, we vote in the affirmative on H.R. 3309.

It's a good piece of legislation. It can pass the Senate. It can be signed by the President, and it should be.


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