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Congress

McDowell Wants to Review Every Rule at FCC

July 7, 2011

Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell will slam his agency on Thursday for overrregulating industry through "a mind-numbing 3,695 pages of rules" that he says have piled up over decades and are often obsolete.

According to his prepared testimony, McDowell will recommend "a full and thorough review of every rule" at the FCC during a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Thursday, echoing calls from Republicans for major reform to the nation's top telecom regulator.

The Oversight subcommittee hearing will draw a panel of federal officials, who will describe how their agencies are fulfilling President Obama's directive this year that they regulate with care, considering the potential burdens of new rules and reviewing existing ones.

McDowell will nominate the FCC's new net-neutrality rules for the chopping block, recommending that the agency nix the controversial Internet traffic regulations before they hit the books and and "cause uncertainty and unintended consequences in the marketplace." Congressional Republicans have made various efforts to do the same after the rules passed last year.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated Obama's order to staff after it was issued in January along with an e-mail saying he supports the goals.

Genachowski has stressed the need to reduce barriers to broadband deployment, and has tried to ease some regulatory burdens such as the rates broadband companies pay to attach their technology to utility poles.

The subcommittee will also hear testimony from FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, among other agency officials.

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