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STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS ON THE INTRODUCTION OF H.R. 4167 THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION COLLABORATION ACT

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Released: December 3, 2009

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
News Media Contact:
December 3, 2009
Jennifer Schneider at (202) 418-2000

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS

ON THE INTRODUCTION OF H.R. 4167

THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION COLLABORATION ACT

“I am thrilled by Congressman Bart Stupak's introduction of the Federal Communications
Commission Collaboration Act. If there was only one action we could take to reform the FCC,
this would be my choice.
“The inability of Commissioners to get together and talk as a group makes zero sense.
The statutory bar on more than two Commissioners talking together outside a public meeting has
had pernicious and unintended consequences—stifling collaborative discussions among
colleagues, delaying timely decision-making, discouraging collegiality and short-changing
consumers and the public interest. For eight years I have seen first-hand and up close the heavy
costs of this prohibition.
“Elected representatives, cabinet officials, judges and just about everyone else have the
opportunity for face-to-face discussion before deciding public issues. I see no reason why
Commissioners of the FCC should not have some of the same opportunities at their disposal—
especially when balanced, as this legislation is, with specific safeguards designed to preserve
transparency. Reaching agreement on the complex issues pending before us is difficult enough
in the best of circumstances, but is infinitely more so when we cannot even talk about them
among ourselves. Each of the five Commissioners brings to the FCC special experiences
and unique talents that we cannot fully leverage without communicating directly with each other.
“The Federal Communications Commission Collaboration Act is a prudent, balanced
proposal that recognizes the benefits of permitting the Commission to do its business collectively
while maintaining full transparency of the process. Congressman Stupak's bill is timely and
spot-on. I thank him for his leadership on this much needed reform and wish him well in seeing
it through to enactment.”
- FCC -

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