Washington Gives Some Thanks

Policymakers weigh in on what they are thankful for

B&C asked a few Washington players what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving, with an eye toward the communications sector. Here are their responses.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: "I am thankful for family, friends, and a full complement of Commissioners at the FCC."

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee: "I am thankful that I have the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. I am thankful that even in difficult economic times, the communications and technology sectors continue to produce the jobs our country so desperately needs. And, I am thankful that walden.house.gov wasn't built by CMS."

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), chair of the Senate Communications Subcommittee: "During the 'State of' hearings this year, we heard a number of success stories in the communications sector. That includes the positive steps the FCC has taken to implement the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Since the CVAA was signed into law in 2010, we've made incredible progress when it comes to improving access to the Internet and other technologies for blind and deaf Americans. This should be a reminder to us all that if we work together we can make a positive difference in Americans' lives.

Gordon Smith, president, National Association of Broadcasters: "I'm thankful for a U.S. system of broadcasting that remains free and local for every American. I'm also thankful for God's good graces, the love of family, and a governing political system in this great country that is decided by ballots and not bullets."

ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka: "I am hardly unique in saying that I have much to be thankful for -- a loving and understanding family, loyal and hardworking ACA colleagues, caring and supportive ACA board leaders, and a wonderful independent cable membership and community that make our work so rich and rewarding.

"If there is one common trait I admire most in so many of the people I know well in the public policy arena, it is that each one feels strongly that in the end, we haven't accomplished very much in this life if we fail to leave America to our heirs in better condition than we found it. I feel certain that future generations will be thankful that we did not forget about them, just as we are grateful this Thanksgiving that our forebears did not forgot about us.

"So, yes, on Thanksgiving, I'm able to mention something other than the broken retransmission consent rules that TV station owners and networks abuse with impunity and those out-of-control sports programming costs that are giving pay-TV consumers fits!"