Thune, Wicker, and Heller Applaud FCC Transparency Initiative

February 2, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Subcommittee, and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), sponsor of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Process Reform Act, issued statements on the FCC’s decision to make public the full text of multiple items on the agenda for its next open meeting for the first time in history.
The new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, held a press conference today to announce the major shift in precedent and process. Making agenda items public prior to Commission votes is a pro-transparency practice long advocated for by Sen. Heller in his FCC process reform bill passed by the Commerce Committee last year.

"I applaud Chairman Pai for beginning the practice of making public the content of items intended to be voted on at FCC Open Meetings,” said Thune. “Commissioner O'Rielly also deserves credit for long advocating for this change. After leading an investigation last year into the FCC’s manipulation of information in advance of open meetings, I believe that a more transparent FCC will be more credible and more accountable. I am pleased that the new leadership is correcting this long-recognized process flaw.”

"Chairman Pai is taking quick and decisive action to make the agency more transparent," said Wicker. "The American people stand to benefit from this important and long-overdue reform."
“Transparency should be a cornerstone of government, and the FCC is no exception to this,” said Heller. “While the previous leadership at the FCC did not embrace this idea, I applaud FCC Chairman Pai for setting an early example in his chairmanship by releasing the text of the rules before the Commission votes and appreciate Commissioner O’Rielly’s commitment to this effort.  In Nevada, the technology sectors are rapidly advancing and driving jobs and investment, and as the agency playing a significant role in these industries, the FCC must be accountable to the American public.  As the leading advocate for FCC process reform in the Senate, I will continue working to codify this important transparency reform at the FCC.”