Sen. Charles Grassley continued his push for FCC info this
week, making a direct appeal to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to make Paul de
Sa, outgoing Chief of the Office of Strategic Plans & Policy meet with him.
De Sa, who is exiting the commission next month, has been
involved in the LightSquared waiver process that Grassley has been seeking info
from the FCC about.
It was what he saw as the FCC's reluctance to make that
information available that prompted his threat to hold up the nominations of
two new commissioners, nominations that have yet to get a full Senate vote.
In a letter to the chairman, Grassley (R-Iowa), said that
despite the chairman's Oct. 28 letter saying he would make staff available to
discuss LightSquared with Grassley staffers, he was told Jan. 24 that de Sa was
"It would be preferable if you would encourage Mr. de
Sa to cooperate with my inquiry before he resigns from government
service," said Grassley. "Therefore, please make him available for an
interview with my staff before Jan. 31, 2012."
Grassley has repeatedly sought internal and external FCC
communications on the waiver process, concerned that the FCC "rushed
approval of the LightSquared project without adequately exploring what turned
out to be widespread concerns of interference with the Global Positioning
System devices widely used by the military, first responders, aviation,
precision agriculture, and consumer navigation."
An FCC spokesperson had no comment at press time, but the
commission has made some documents available online pursuant to FOIA requests
and has reiterated that its waiver to LightSquared, which is on hold, will not
happen until GPS issues are resolved. But the chairman has also declined to
provide documents to Grassley, pointing out the request did not come from the
chairman of one of the relevant oversight committees. Grassley is ranking
member of one of them, however, the Senate Judiciary Committee.