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Agency Reform Still on Walden’s Agenda

Lawmaker tells C-SPAN he has some concerns about Wheeler as a potential chairman

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden praised interim FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, but told C-SPAN’s “The Communicators” this weekend he has some concerns about Tom Wheeler, the president’s pick for agency chairman.

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has said he plans to hold nomination hearings in June for Wheeler, a past telecom lobbyist.

Walden, an Oregon Republican, is concerned about Wheeler’s position on some past telecom deals, telling C-SPAN, the commission “shouldn’t use the extraordinary power it has to approve or deny a merger to exercise market changes it can’t do through a regulatory environment.”

Commission reform is still on Walden’s agenda.

He praised former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for some of his modernizations, however the legislator said the agency needs more checks to keep it on schedule and make sure the commission doesn’t loss the progress it’s made as the commission transitions to new leadership. Walden plans to reintroduce an FCC reform measure containing shot clocks for decisions on proposed transactions and on other agency processes as well as relaxations on the ban that prevents all the commissioners from getting together to discuss pending issues.