42 House members 'shocked' by FCC's fast-track plan

[Radio Online]

A group of 42 Democratic House members, including Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin "to express our grave shock and dismay over reports" that Commission chief will reportedly wrap up the agency's media ownership review by mid-December.

"We understand that you intend to try to finalize these rules by the end of this calendar year," the letter said. "We believe that such actions are reminiscent of the bad behavior that resulted in an intervention by the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals in your agency's efforts on media ownership three years ago."

"After all of the controversy that this proceeding has generated over the past four years, we believe that another round of public commentary is essential before a final vote," the letter continued. "We hope you will agree that the [FCC] must do everything it can to be able to honestly say that it is ending this proceeding after having considered every factor on behalf of the public whose airwaves it purports to represent."

The House members also criticized the ten studies commissioned by the FCC and said they were "highly alarmed" that Martin plans a vote within the next two months. "Such action would make public comment on the new rules inadequate. We believe that another full round of public commentary is essential before a final vote."

The letter concluded with the remark, "We cannot comprehend how your staff could possibly have fully analyzed the public comments submitted in Chicago before you began to circulate these new rules."

article originally published at http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/$rol.exe/headline_id=b10337.

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