Draft Senate FCC Reauthorization Bill Targets Regulatory Fees

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The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has circulated a draft bill to reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission for the first time in 25 years, including provisions aimed at reassessing how the agency levies regulatory fees.

The bill would require a report to Congress within six months of enactment on how to bring the FCC’s fees in line with the modern marketplace. The agency’s current fee structure “fails to reflect today’s landscape accurately or proportionally,” according to a bill summary circulated with the discussion draft.

The reauthorization bill, obtained by Bloomberg BNA and expected to be introduced March 7 by Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), would establish the terms under which the agency may operate. It would authorize $361.1 million for fiscal year 2017 and $348.7 million for fiscal year 2018. Of the fiscal 2017 funds, $16.8 million would be designated to pay for the agency to move to a new location when its current lease expires in October 2017.

The bill is tentatively expected to be marked up March 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at lbeyoud@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine in Washington at kperine@bna.com