Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, indicated Wednesday that he may be softening the iron-clad hold he's had on two nominations to the Federal Communications Commission as he's tried to force the FCC to release more details related to its initial approval of LightSquared's now-dead national broadband network.
A day after receiving the latest batch of nearly 6,000 documents from the FCC, Grassley told reporters that he's hopeful the FCC may finally be providing him with some of the documents he has been seeking related to the commission's conditional approval -- which has since been withdrawn - for LightSquared's application to build a wholesale broadband network.
"It seems like there are some valuable documents in there," Grassley said.
Since last year, Grassley has been blocking a floor vote on the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to serve on the five-member commission. Grassley said if the FCC continues to be "helpful" in providing the documents he wants, he may be willing to lift his hold as soon as the week of May 7th.
"If it continues to be helpful...We're out next week, but maybe by the following week we may be able to move," Grassley said. "But I can't make that judgment now."
He said he is expecting to receive another batch of documents soon. Grassley said he is looking to see why the FCC appeared to rush its decision to conditionally approve LightSquared's request to use spectrum it held for its broadband network, whether the agency examined the GPS interference issues, and whether there was any political meddling from the Obama administration.
In February, the FCC formally rejected LightSquared's broadband network after federal officials determined it would interfere with the operation of GPS devices.