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Congress

Grassley Continues Hold On FCC Nominees

February 15, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission may be looking to block LightSquared's proposed network, but Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, isn't backing down from his investigation into the agency's handling of the case.

"Now that the interference issue is settled, we need to find out more than ever why the FCC did what it did," Grassley said in a statement on Wednesday. "If we don't find out how and why the FCC failed to avoid this controversy, then it will keep operating as a closed shop instead of the open, publicly accountable agency it should be."

The FCC proposed Tuesday night to prohibit LightSquared from launching its nationwide wireless network because it interferes with global positioning systems.

Since last year Grassley has been pressuring the FCC and LightSquared to provide documents from the company's application. The senator has been blocking Senate votes on two nominees to the FCC until the agency provides the information and a spokeswoman for Grassley confirmed that the hold remains in effect.

The FCC has said Grassley does not have oversight authority and at a news conference on Wednesday FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski refused to comment on the spat.

Grassley called on other senators, and specifically Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefellerr, D-W.Va., who oversees the FCC, to join him in pressuring the agency.

"The FCC's action seems to acknowledge the point I've been making since April," he said in his statement. "Now that the FCC has backtracked on LightSquared, I'd like to see my Senate colleagues join my document request, especially the chairman of the only Senate committee that the FCC is willing to answer."

More coverage of LightSquared can be found on our Tech page.

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