Press Releases

(Washington, DC) - Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) offered the following remarks after introducing legislation affecting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Process Reform:

“As the influence of the FCC continues to grow with innovation, it is imperative its actions not be clouded in opaqueness or secrecy. Consumers ultimately suffer the most when this occurs, and I do not believe that was the intent when legislators created the FCC over 80 years ago.  The FCC will continue to play a large role in the daily lives of Nevada’s citizens and all Americans.  As it continues to work on complex policies affecting our entire nation, I believe consumers deserve more transparency in the FCC rulemaking process.

“In amending the rules, the public will know exactly what the FCC is voting on well before the vote. Right now, we don’t even know what major decision like the FCC’s net neutrality order says. How is that an example of solid rulemaking? The transparency in this legislation delivers a better product for consumers as they will know for certain the cost of regulations to economic growth and whether new rulings are justified based on current problems facing the market.  These are principles that all consumers deserve.” 

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Details of the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015:

Promoting Transparency, Fairness, and Efficiency in Commission Operations

  • Provide more opportunities for the public to see pending FCC action by publishing the exact rule or amendment to a rule for at least 21 days and by allowing any Commissioner to ask for a vote on any order issued by a bureau.
  • Enhance consistency and transparency in the Commission’s operations by requiring the FCC to establish procedures for:
    • handling extensive new data submitted towards the end of a comment period,
    • adequate review and deliberation regarding pending orders,
    • providing the status of open rulemaking proceedings,
    • minimum public review periods for statistical reports and ex parte communications.
  • Empower the Commission to operate more efficiently through reform of the “sunshine” rules, allowing a bipartisan majority of Commissioners to meet for collaborative discussions subject to transparency safeguards.

Protecting Jobs by Ensuring Regulatory Benefits Outweigh Costs

  • Require the Commission to identify a market failure, consumer harm, or regulatory barrier to investment before adopting economically significant rules. After identifying such an issue, the Commission must demonstrate that the benefits of regulation outweigh the costs while taking into account the need for regulation to impose the least burden on society.
  • Require the Commission to establish performance measures for new program activities so that when the Commission spends hundreds of millions of federal or consumer dollars, Congress and the public have a straightforward means of seeing what bang we’re getting for our buck.