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Shapiro Commends FCC Collaboration Act

Arlington, Va. — Gary Shapiro, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president, Friday formally commended the pending Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Collaboration Act, saying it will “streamline decision making.”

“We commend the bipartisan sponsors of the common-sense FCC Collaboration Act. This simple rules change will improve the functioning of the FCC, reduce delays and promote a more rapid decision-making process. We urge Congress to approve this bill expeditiously,” Shapiro stated.

Pending bipartisan legislation would change a so-called “Sunshine Rule” prohibiting three or more commissioners from discussing agency business outside of official public meetings.

The legislation would change that to allow commissioners to discuss agency business in non-public sessions as long as no agency action is taken.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and U.S. Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) have submitted bills supporting the change.

“This common-sense legislation will encourage discussion and cooperation among FCC commissioners, and allow for the agency to be more responsive to a rapidly changing marketplace. While the Sunshine Act is well-intended, a simple modification is needed to encourage progress as the agency faces decisions across a wide array of industries. I look forward to working with Senator Klobuchar to advance this bipartisan legislation in the United States Senate, and with Representatives Eshoo and Shimkus to enact this bill into law,” Heller said in a statement.

The Sunshine Rule is said to be particularly troublesome at Federal-State Joint Board meetings, where only two commissioners are allowed to participate at any one time.