Sen. Grassley Continues FCC Nominee Standoff

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 7:28am
Maisie Ramsay

The standoff between Senator Chuck Grassley and the FCC continues this week after the lawmaker said documents provided by the agency were insufficient. 

The Iowa Republican has been after the FCC for months to provide him with documents about its handling of LightSquared, which was granted a waiver for its network last year over the objections of the NTIA. That waiver has since been revoked after tests showed LightSquared's network knocked out GPS signals.

Frustrated by the agency's refusal to comply with his demands, Grassley decided to apply some political pressure and moved late last year to put a hold on two FCC commissioner nominees. 

The FCC has been operating with Chairman Julius Genachowski and commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Robert McDowell after Michael Copps retired at the beginning of this year. 

The FCC provided House Republicans looking into its management of LightSquared with some documents last week. 

A spokeswoman for Grassley said yesterday he would maintain his hold on the nominees, since the documents provided by the FCC "have been previously released through the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, Senator Grassley’s hold on the FCC nominees will continue until the FCC demonstrates its commitment to comply with the House committee’s request and produce new, internal documents."

The FCC could not be immediately reached for comment. It has repeatedly declined meetings with Grassley and says it may ignore requests from lawmakers not part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee or the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which have jurisdiction over the FCC.  

Grassley is the ranking Republican member of the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee but does not hold a seat on the Senate Commerce and Transportation Committee.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee began an investigation into the issue in February. 




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