FCC Set to Appear Before GOP-Led House Panel

Potentially fiery hearing slated for July 9.

FCC Set to Appear Before GOP-Led House Panel
Screenshot of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on May 16, 2024

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2024 – Sparks could fly on Capitol Hill next week as the leaders of the Democratic-controlled Federal Communications Commission are slated to appear before a Republican-controlled House Subcommittee.

All five FCC Commissioners have been scheduled to address the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee on July 9 to provide an overview of the agency's fiscal year 2025 budget. 

The FCC under Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has asked for $448 million in fiscal 2025 funding, but the House Appropriations Committee has trimmed it to $416 million, which would still be a $26 million increase over fiscal 2024.

Rosenworcel wanted the budget increase to add staff, saying the agency’s current staffing level was at a 20-year low.

But the hearing could also get into several controversial areas, such as the agency’s digital discrimination and Net Neutrality rules, both being litigated in federal court.

Rosenworcel's tenure has come with an increase in industry regulation, leading some to expect a clash with the Republican-held House.

Rosenworcel is almost certain to take questions about the agency’s response to the Supreme Court’s June 28 decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo in which the court overturned the Chevron Doctrine that regulatory agencies have leaned on for decades to win court approval of their regulations. 

The FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, adopted in April, have been appealed by Internet Service Provider organizations in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The ISPs have asked the court to stay the rules, a motion still pending.

The FCC’s request to transfer the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington was rejected by the Sixth Circuit just hours after the Supreme Court handed down Loper Bright.

The Sixth Circuit has asked all parties, including the FCC and the ISP organizations, to file briefs by July 8 assessing the impact of the Loper Bright case on the ISPs’ stay request.

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