Politico Morning Tech - Walden Wants Speedy Work On Spectrum Incentives

January 30, 2014
In The News

By Alex Byers

The Energy and Commerce committee still has work to do on a pair of telecom bills this afternoon, but with both likely to pass, it’s worth looking at what’s next. House telecom chairman Greg Walden says quick work on the Matsui-Guthrie bill that’s supposed to give federal agencies the option of recouping some revenue from spectrum auctions they facilitate would be a welcome sight, given that it can take a while to complete the reallocations that the wireless industry has been clamoring for. “We want to be ready to either move it to the floor or have it as part of something else,” the Oregon Republican told MT before opening statements on the bill, which was only unveiled on Monday.

Elsewhere, telecom subcommittee ranking member Anna Eshoo was singing to MT her praises of the deal that the committee has forged on FCC process reform — an issue that just a few months ago was staring at a stark partisan divide. The majority dropped all this cost-benefit analysis, they dropped putting things in statute, they really came a long way,” she said, noting that the measure also includes some of the language she’s been pushing that would allow three or more FCC commissioners to meet behind closed doors (though the bill doesn’t implement that right away.) Still, we haven’t heard from Senate Commerce leaders on whether they’ll take the effort up. Eshoo said she hadn’t talked to her upper-chamber compatriots about it yet — “we have to do our work here,” she said — but added the measure was free of poison pills. More chatter likely this afternoon, starting at 12:30 p.m.