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Senate Commerce Committee Tees Up FCC Bills - Broadcasting & Cable

Senate Commerce Committee Tees Up FCC Bills

Will mark up reauthorization and process reforms
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The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a mark-up April 27 on a pair of FCC-related bills, including the first FCC reauthorization in a quarter century.

Mark-ups are committee business meetings during which bills are debated, amended and usually voted.

S. 2644, the FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016, essentially re-establishes the agency. Among other things, it sets salaries, expenditures on the FCC's move to a new building, commissioners' terms of service, and calls for a study of the FCC's regulatory fee structure.

The second bill is Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller's Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015 (S. 421). Among many other things, that bill would require the FCC to conduct economic impact studies of regulations, set minimum comment periods as a general rule, provide for sufficient note and comment on ex parte communications, publish the status of open rulemakings, publish the language of a rule before it is voted, give commissioners "adequate" time to review items before they are asked to vote on them, and set deadlines for acting on license applications.

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