Brownback: Complete review 'without delay'


Congress' message to the Federal Communications Commission on the media-ownership-rule review appears to be, "Hurry up and wait."

One day after three Republican Senators wrote FCC chairman Michael Powell asking that the commission take its time on the biennial rule review (to allow for more public comment and congressional perusal), another Republican senator (Sam Brownback of Kansas) wrote to ask just the opposite.

In a letter Friday, Brownback asked Powell whether Congress should consider eliminating the biennial review or extending it if, as Powell has said, it creates regulatory uncertainty due to its frequency.

Brownback asked that the FCC complete the media-ownership review and issue a final order "without further delay ... I am troubled with the length of time these particular issues have remained pending before the commission," he added, saying some go back to 1998.

Brownback asked for examples from Powell of how the review process has created regulatory uncertainty.

An analysis of the issue by financial services firm Legg Mason Inc., released Friday, suggested that there could be more letters from Congress backing both the "hurry up" and "wait" camps.