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Congress

Rockefeller Pushes FCC To Give Grassley What he Wants

April 24, 2012

Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., says he's trying hard to break the deadlock between the Federal Communications Commission and Sen. Chuck Grassley. Grassley is still pushing for documents related to LightSquared and its now-nixed venture to build a wholesale wireless network.

The Iowa Republican has been holding Senate votes on two FCC nominations hostage and he is giving little indication that he's ready to release his hold.

Rockefeller said he called the FCC Chief of Staff Zachary Katz on Monday and told him to release the remaining e-mails Grassley has been seeking. Rockefeller says he was told the commission would be sending over "unredacted" documents related to the LightSquared controversy. When asked if he thinks it will resolve the issue, Rockefeller said "I don't know. I hope so."

A spokeswoman for Grassley confirmed that the senator had received 5,900 FCC documents Tuesday but said it is unclear if the latest batch of materials will contain the information related to LightSquared that he has been seeking.

"Sen. Grassley has asked consistently, beginning with and since his initial request of April 27, 2011, for internal documents that would shed light into why the FCC appeared to give expedited initial approval to LightSquared's wireless project," the spokeswoman said. "Sen. Grassley has not 'moved the ball' on the nature of the documents he's been seeking. He simply wants access to FCC documents so he can determine whether the FCC is performing due diligence before approving major projects involving public resources and affecting consumers."

Grassley has been blocking a Senate vote on FCC nominees Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai since last year.

Rockefeller voiced frustration on Tuesday, noting that both Rosenworcel and Pai are highly regarded. "They're just absolutely fabulous...There's just no reason for [the hold] now," he said.

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