Letter supporting H.R. 3309, the “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011,” and H.R. 3310, the “Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011”

Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 7:00pm

The Honorable Fred Upton
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Henry Waxman
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Waxman:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 3309, the “Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011,” and H.R. 3310, the “Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011.” These bills would improve the transparency and predictability of the decision-making process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Given today’s dynamic and competitive telecommunications marketplace, H.R. 3309 recognizes the need to make the FCC’s current regulatory process more consistent, efficient, transparent, and market-oriented. For example, the bill would require the FCC to survey the marketplace via a Notice of Inquiry or similar proceeding before commencing a new rulemaking. For rules with an “economically significant impact,” the legislation would require the FCC to identify the problem that it is trying to solve, such as a market failure or actual consumer harm, and show that the benefits of the rule justify its costs. The bill also would require that any conditions imposed by the FCC on transactions must be within the agency’s authority.

H.R. 3310 would direct the FCC to submit to Congress a comprehensive biennial report on the state of the communications marketplace. The report would consolidate many FCC reporting requirements and eliminate others deemed overly burdensome or unnecessary. Rather than just using outdated regulatory silos to analyze competition, this bill would require the FCC to study the impact of multiple sources of competition including the Internet.

The Chamber supports H.R. 3309 and H.R. 3310, and urges the Committee to report these bills to the House for consideration.

Sincerely,

R. Bruce Josten

cc: Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce