Bill to Add Engineers to Commissioner Staffs Gets a Companion

Rep. McNerney introduces H.R. 4809
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A Senate bill that would add an engineer to the staff of each Federal Communications Commission commissioner now has a companion measure in the House.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., introduced H.R. 4809. This comes after representatives of the Society of Broadcast Engineers met with his Washington staff last week.

SBE's Government Relations Chairman Barry Thomas and General Counsel Chris Imlay visited offices of several House members to garner support for a companion to a Senate bill introduced in January by Senator Olympia Snowe, D-Maine, and co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

The bill would authorize an engineering staff person for each of the five FCC commissioners. With a House bill now introduced, the legislation can move through the committee process of both houses of Congress.

SBE President Vinny Lopez said the change would go a long way "to ensure technical excellence at the highest levels of the commission."

McNerney is a second-term congressmen representing California's 11th congressional district, which includes a portion of California's Central Valley. He has an engineering background and is a member of the House Commerce Committee and the subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

The text of the House bill was not yet available online as we write.

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