The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. to consider S. 2555, the MOBILE NOW Act and pending nominations.
Click here for a section-by-section summary of the MOBILE NOW Act.
- S. 2555, MOBILE NOW Act, Sponsors: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
- T.F. Scott Darling III, to be Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Daniel B. Maffei, to be a Commissioner at the Federal Maritime Commission
- Nominations for promotion in the United States Coast Guard
Results of the markup are available here.
Executive Session Details:
Thursday, March 3, 2016
10:00 a.m. in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.
For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:
• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265
• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421
• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548
• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241
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Chairman John Thune
"Good morning. I’d like to provide an overview of the items on today’s agenda. Today, the Committee will consider a handful of nominations and Senator Nelson and my “Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless” or MOBILE NOW Act.
"This bipartisan legislation will help usher in the future of gigabit wireless connectivity known as fifth-generation or “5G” wireless. 5G will not only increase the speed and availability of wireless broadband; it will exponentially increase the opportunities for expanded wireless services. From healthcare, to transportation safety, emergency response, and entertainment, the possibilities for 5G utilization are almost limitless.
"The MOBILE NOW Act will boost the development of 5G by ensuring more spectrum is made available for commercial use and streamlining wireless network deployment regulations. The bill also contains provisions directing Federal agencies to evaluate a wide range of future spectrum bands for wireless broadband within three years after enactment, including the important millimeter wave frequencies that will be critical for 5G services.
"The bill advances the Dig Once approach to broadband deployment by encouraging adoption of this policy by Federal agencies. It also directs the federal government to create a national broadband facilities assets database, which will act as an online inventory of federal government property assets available for private-sector deployment of broadband facilities.
"I want to thank the entire Committee for working with Senator Nelson and me on this important legislation. We have been able to work together and are hoping to accept about a dozen amendments to improve the bill.
"I particularly want to thank Senator Klobuchar for working with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and us on her Dig Once amendment. We share the common sense goal of this policy and look forward to continuing to work with her on this issue going forward.
"I am hopeful that, soon after our consideration of the MOBILE NOW Act, the full Senate will take up the measure. Our nation has always been at the forefront of wireless innovations, and the MOBILE NOW Act will help ensure that we will continue to lead the way.
"MOBILE NOW, however, ought not to be the end of the story for 5G legislation. There is more that Congress can do to boost next generation wireless in this country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help develop additional proposals for consideration by the Committee. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t delay passing the important consensus provisions in MOBILE NOW, because we need to do what we can for mobile… now.
"In addition to the MOBILE NOW Act, the Committee is also considering two civilian nominations and two Coast Guard promotions on today’s agenda. Scott Darling has been nominated to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. He is currently the Acting Administrator, and previously served as Chief Counsel.
"Daniel Maffei has been nominated to be a Commissioner at the Federal Maritime Commission. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Before that, he served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Syracuse, New York. It is important to fill this position at the FMC, as the person Mr. Maffei would be replacing had his term expire in June of 2012, nearly four years ago.
"The two Coast Guard promotions are flag level officers. Adm. Francis Pelkowski has been promoted to be Rear Admiral, Upper Half. Adm. Fred Midgette has been promoted to be Vice Admiral and Deputy Commandant for Operations. All of these nominations are non-controversial, and we expect them to move by voice vote today.
"With that, I will turn to the Ranking Member for any opening remarks he would like to make."