House to Vote on Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act

The following letter was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 3309 on March 27.

Dear Representative:

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) urges your support for the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act (H.R. 3309). From net neutrality regulations to its activity that derailed the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, the FCC has become far too intrusive and ideological – costing the economy jobs, investment and innovations. Tightening up boundaries with regard to FCC authority, and making it a more transparent and accountable entity is not only desirable, but timely.

SBE Council fully agrees with comments made by U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and sponsor of H.R. 3309, this past November when he observed: “At a time when job creators are crippled with regulatory uncertainty, Congress has the obligation to ensure that federal agencies carry out the public's business transparently. The technology and communications sector is the most innovative in our country - it deserves the most innovative and open government agency.”

H.R. 3309 would bring greater transparency, consistency and effectiveness to the FCC’s regulatory process. For example, it would establish and clarify procedures for when the FCC issues rulemaking notices, including citing the FCC’s authority for adopting and amending a rule. Also, the economic impact of a rulemaking would need to be considered, with the FCC required to assess the presumed market failure and consumer harm, the governmental failures warranting FCC action, as well as the burden of existing regulation. For good measure, it would have to be determined that the benefits justify the costs of new regulatory action. In addition, H.R. 3309 would establish greater openness when it comes to the Commission’s deliberations, agenda, meetings, and dissemination of information.

H.R. 3309 would open up, provide checks and balances for, enhance certainty, and rationalize the FCC’s rulemaking process. That would be positive for reining in unwarranted costs on innovation and investment, and a huge plus for the entrepreneurs that both supply and consume telecommunications services. This legislation warrants bipartisan support.

SBE Council urges you to vote for H.R. 3309 when it comes before the full House for a vote this week. Thank you, in advance, for your support of small business.

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO