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tv   Senate Commerce Committee Takes Up FCC Nominations  CSPAN  July 22, 2017 4:01am-6:35am EDT

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>> however, there is more work to be done to bring communications policy into the future and that includes following the world's spectrum and managing the impact on local broadcasters and building on
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wireless success with the next generation of mobile service known as 5g. that's going to require new and help bring the benefits of modern communications to everyone everywhere across the country. if confirmed, i look forward to working with individuals on the table and all others at the commission and if reconfirmed i will be guided by the fundamental values and the law that i discussed can you here today and if reconfirmed, i will continue to respect the priorities of this committee. in closing, thank you chairman thune, ranking member nelson and i look forward to answers any questions you might have. >> thank you, ms. rosenworcel.
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>> i'm humbled by president trump's decision to nominate to receiver as commissioner at the fcc and i'm honored to have this committee to consider the nomination. i want to start by thanking you and your staff for the courtesies you've shown me and the chance to meet with you has given me the unt to learn more about the telecom and communications issues that are important to you and your states. these meetings have only underscored the important role the fcc plays in the live of millions of americans, broadband deployment, protecting consumers or advancing public safety. with the committee's indulgence i would like to take a moment to introduce my family, my wife michaela and twins and emma.
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i want to introduce my parents, his first job in washington, d.c. was to work as mail sorter so he's really glad to get the chance to come back. [laughter] >> i also want to congratulate chairman pai and rosen weapon worcel. i-- rosenworcel. i currently have the privilege of serving as the general council of the fcc. it's not the first job i've had at the agency, however, i've joined the commission as staffer during the obama administration. i worked in the office of general counsel. i then had the chance to work on some of the same issues with commissioner pai my passion for
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technology started well before i joined the agency. in fact, i went to law school 15 years ago now specifically for the purpose of studying telecommunications law and policy. after graduating i worked in a law firm and accepted a clerkship with a judge which helped spark my interest in public service. now, looking back i learned a lot in the past dozen years working in communications. i've come to know and admire the fcc staff. they are passionate about delivering for the public interest. i've come to understand the importance of bipartisan consensus and working towards common ground and if confirmed, i will certainly work in that spirit as a commissioner. i want to talk briefly about the focus i bring to the commission if confirmed. first, we have a tremendous opportunity in telecom space to create jobs, to spur investment and to grow the economy for the
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benefit of all americans. i believe the fcc's policies should do just that. broadband is certainly going to play a key role whether it's high -speed connections, infrastructure and the businesses that use those connections to reach customers around the world. broadband can harness the talents of all americans, it can create good-paying jobs and help drive our nation's economic growth. second, we must maintain the united states leadership in wireless as 5g and other advance and competitive networks come online. spectrum and infrastructure are going to be two key pieces of that, whether that's in connecting every american or the expanding internet of things. and finally, the fcc must always know public safety. this includes speeding transition of next generation 911 ensuring that our first
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responders have the communications' technologies they need to do their jobs. so in closing, i want to thank the committee again for taking the time to consider my nomination. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. carr. i'm going to start off because we are going to have a vote coming here quickly and republicans are all invited to the white house for a noon meeting, so we are going to try to wrap this up. if everybody can be respectful of everybody's time, whether he try to move this along. i know each of you appreciates the importance of fcc and congress. a. no, sir -- nevertheless that gives us opportunity and if confirmed, solid, and thorough responses.
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>> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> to the panel in every broadband report the commission state that had broadband is not being deployed to all americans in a reasonable and timely fashion while also noting disparity of broadband between urban and rural areas, nonetheless many providers in parts of america have seen funding for their project cut repeatedly and fcc to ensure broadband is made available to rural areas but by own accounts fcc has failed to do so. to each of you i would ask, will you commit to conducting thorough economic analysis of the impact of these cuts on broadband deployment in rural areas before allowing any further reduction in the percentage of recovery for high-cost areas? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> thank you. chairman, pai, you have proposed
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an fcc inquiry to evaluate new uses, how can congress support the fcc's efforts to bring spectrum forward for commercial use in timely fashion and what issues fcc thinks will need to be addressed to make this happen? >> thanks for the question, chairman, you highlighted one of the key areas that have been dormant in fcc. pursuant to your letter, we took a look and we thought this is right for notice of inquiry, recently i propose today my colleagues, we will be voting on soon notice of inquiry that would tee up a variety of broadbands and if particular the 3 dot band and we are hopeful that the bands in particular will generate substantial public comment and we would be able to maintain u.s. leadership in spectrum policy by figuring out
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which areas are possible for licensing innovation going forward. in terms of committee's efforts, we would like to keep you informed. we would certainly welcome that input. >> thank you, commissioner rosenworcel, we looked at a number of states, some states and municipalities have streamlined while others have not, to help address existing barriers, we are also exploring potential legislative solutions, so the question is apart from direct investment, what do you think can be done at the federal level to speed broadband infrastructure and deployment? >> thank you, senator for the question. i think there are a variety of things that can be done some of which have been discussed before this committee including dig one's policies and ensuring that all federal actors use same contracts to facilitate
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deployment on federal property. furthermore, i think it would be useful for the fcc going forward to contact other federal actors in this country like the department of transportation, the department of the interior, the bureau of indian affairs that have facilities all across the country and see if through a memorandum of understanding we can't reach a commitment that any efforts to deploy on those facilities could be accomplished in a short period of time. with one-third of the nation's lands being federal lands, i think we can set a good example and hopefully export that example to municipalities across the country. >> thank you. chairman pai, the national policy center reports 1.3 million comments were filed in the net neutrality proceeding are from, i should says .3 filed are from international filers with more than 300,000 coming from the same address in russia in support of the 2015 title two
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rules and there have been many other stories of fake or abusive comments being filed. the question is how do you weigh these kinds of suspicious comments with those comments that are more substantive and made on policy arguments? >> i thank you for your question, chairman. this is a key issue. obviously the fcc undertaking the notice of rule making wants to establish an open process where anyone who had interest in the issue could voice or heard views. at the end of the day, once the period closes and the fcc staff takes fact of the record we are guided by the circumstantial evidence test, essentially the question s has the agency collected evidence that a reasonable person would agree would be adequate to support whatever conclusions were ultimately made. that's been our star on this and any other issue that we
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contemplate, that's what we apply. >> thank you. senator nelson. >> mr. chairman, isn't it interesting that we have to be concerned about comments being filed from russia? it's a new day. mr. carr, i want to follow up a policy question that it's hard to recall a similar situation where someone was nominated to receiver at the fcc along side rather than what has been typical to follow their current boss and, of course, it raises the question of independence and necessary that this committee raise the question of independence, how independent can you be of chairman pai, can
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you name for the committee a time at which you substantively disagreed with chairman pai on an fcc matter or proceeding? >> senator, thank you very much for the question. i think it's a good one. independence is critically important for the agency and for the decision-makers at the agency. i've been at the commission for over five years in a variety of roles. i've had various in the jobs and when i had the chance to work for the commissioner, i gave it my best candidate advice, sometimes he took it, sometimes he didn't take it, what i can commit to you going forward i will make my own decisions, i will call it the way i see it based on the facts, the record and what i think serves as public interest independent of where other people come out, at the same time i would hope that if confirmed all five commissioners can find common ground far more often than not.
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>> okay, but that's not the question. the question is can you name an instance substantive disagreement as we evaluate your independence? >> senator, thank you, i gave him my best advice i could on a variety of issues. he didn't always agree with me on those, but given the importance of having sort of a candid and free exchange with staff and, i think, you know, i want to leave it at that for now that i can commit to you going forward that i will be independent in my decision-making. >> well, we appreciate that commitment but we've got to evaluate your independence so you simply will not name an incidents for the committee's valuation where you might have disagreed with him? >> having been sort of a lawyer at the time for then commissioner pai, i think i will want to leave the discussions.
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>> well, let me ask you this, do you see any incidents in the future that you would disagree with him on? >> i certainly have no interest on agreeing with him when i don't believe that that's the right outcome. as i've noted, my hope is the agency works best when we work in a bipartisan basis. i think the vast majority of what we do should be consensus-base. iwould love to work with all commissioners but no individual once i made my mind up will change position. my record shows that i'm confidence in making these decisions. >> mr. carr, that's not confidence building of those of us who are wondering about your future independence from the boss that you have so ably served in the last number of years. well, let me ask you about the e-rate program.
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it's a great success story of the '96 telecon act, as you know, students have access that they never had before. just in my state alone, libraries have received over 160 million in e-rate funds in 2015 and this program it's making a real difference in the lives of citizens in our state. the nation students and the teachers and the libraries are going to hold us accountable for any changes if we roll back the e-rate program, bipartisan program, i might say, that has been bringing internet
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connectivity and broadband to schools and libraries. so i ask the chairman on previous occasions and i will ask you now, will you commit to wait and i will remind you the fcc previously said it would wait until at least next year before attempting to make changes to this critical program. we need to see how the fcc's previous e-rate modernization efforts are working in order to guaranty that the nation and in particular our students can realize the benefits from the -- can you make that commitment? >> thank you for the question, i agree with you this is important program that's serving important needs. what i commit to you that i approach the issue with an open
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mind and timing as outcome and i don't have a preordain view. >> so you cannot commit to waiting before we get those reports on evaluating the e-rate program? >> senator, i think it's important that before making any changes to a program we know that if it's working or if it's not working, if it needs tweak or, in fact, it does not need a tweak. >> i didn't understand the question, can you commit the wait to go see the evaluation before you start making changes to the e-rate program? >> senator, i'm not familiar with the specifics of what that evaluation would be or what time frame it would be but i can commit to you that i would not be making or casting a vote to change a program until we have information about whether it was working or not working. >> thank you, senator nelson. next up is senator lee. >> thank you very much,
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mr. chairman, thanks all of you for being here. this hearing gives us a good opportunity to talk about how the american people can best take advantage of emerging technologies, it gives people access to more information. we are currently fazing a lot of problems in this area, challenges, i guess one could say, some of the challenges are physical and logistical and other challenges are product of government interference, legal and regulatory problems that the federal government has created. the federal communications commission 2015 open-internet order is the perfect example of intrusive, heavy-handed government regulation causing delay in industry, causing uncertainty in the industry and, in effect, in the long run, i believe limiting access by the american people to this technology that has the ability
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to benefit so many people. a recent new york times article claims that total investment by publicly-traded broadband companies increased from -- by 5.3% between the -- as compared to the two-year period immediately before the issuance of the 2015 order, that is during the two-year period encompassing 2013 and 2014 to the end of the two-year period immediately following it, 2015 and 2016. but this highlights a couple of major problems that result from overregulation and i will address each of them in turn. first, it fails to discloses that -- that actual investment, what the actual investment in infrastructure is, 5.3% figure that i cited from "the new york
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times" study refers to total top line investment not to capital investment in the united states, not to expenditure in this type of infrastructure here at home. more accurately, domestic investment in broadband actually plummeted. it fell after the 2015 order with some analysts fights reductions and they are saying, in fact, that the relevant number actually went down, went down to a greater degree than "the new york times" article suggesting it went up. so first dealing with this issue, mr. pai, while it may not be possible to prove causation here definitively would you agree that the open-ended order has discouraged companies from investing in broadband infrastructure specially in rural areas and among smaller isp's in the united states? >> senator, that's one of the
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concerns that we have raised and part of the reasons that we are testing the proposition in the context of rule-making. >> now, i want to follow up on that with my second point, the second concern i have with the point raised by "the new york times" article. the second one is a little more abstract. the internet service providers are not investing in broadband infrastructure, where is their money going? they might conserve cash or pay dividends but in many cases, internet service providers choose simply to invest elsewhere, either overseas or other industries. for example, at&t announced shortly after order was issued that it would spend over $3 billion in méxico to expand access to 100 million potential subscribers by 2018. just in countless other industries. overwhelming regulation of the
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internet in the united states promotes consolidation instead of competition and helps incumbents instead of disruptors, competitors and one thing we know about competition is when we have more of it, prices go down and quality goes up and the opposite happens when we have less of it. mr. pai, if our goal is to ensure domestic investment by and promote competition between internet service providers in the united states, shouldn't we return to the clinton era life touch approach to the internet? >> senator, that is what the fcc has proposed and our goals here, of course, are to preserve the free and open internet that all of you are cherish and to promote the massive infrastructure that's necessary to conduct rural americans with digital opportunity and that's what we are exploring in the context of the current proceeding. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i see my time has expired.
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>> thank you, senator lee. >> chairman pai, in 2016 almost all of the venture capital went to incident-specific and software companies, that's $25 billion worth of investment, at the same time to meet america's demand for u.s. broadband and telecommunications industry invested more than $87 billion in capital expenditures in 2015 and that's the highest rate of annual investment in the last ten years. we've had -- hit a sweet spot and wireless technology is high, job creation is high, the venture capital investment in start-ups is high, so these net neutrality protections are a problem that doesn't need any fixing. the system is working yet, mr. chairman, you are proposing to undo the open-internet
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border, what is the problem, mr. chairman, that you are trying to fix? >> thank you for the question, senator. i think one of the concerns that we have raised is that these regulations might be dampening infrastructure investment. >> might be, but there's no evidence of it. >> there has been evidence raised and that's part of the reason why we are testing the proposition in the contest of rule-making, some suggested the fcr should simply issue a declaratory ruling saying that the facts from the law are so and that's the way it's going to be but we wanted to test the proposition in an open and public process. >> publicly traded companies are required by law to provide investors accurate financial information including reporting any risks or financial burdens, however, i have found no publicly traded isp that has reported to its investors by law that title 2 has negatively impact investment in their networks, many, in fact, have decleared -- decreased in
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investment. what's the evidence that you're relying upon that you proceed with towards a potential repeal of these net neutrality protections? >> senator, the notice of proposed rule-making recited some evidence among tops 2 internet providers in terms of size that investment was down, also a number of smaller providers, fixed wireless providers submitted evidence. we want to hear that perspective as well that you just outlined and so we want to make sure what are the facts in the context. again, this is part of the reason why we have a notice in common process as oppose to decree that we find that these rules are, in fact, harming them and we will get rid of them immediately. >> since net neutrality rules have been in place, the internet has thrived, we have seen tremendous job creation, it's
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the spot where younger people, newer companies go, it's an entrepreneurial engine of growth, greatest that we've had in generations in the country's history and so from my perspective as you look at this, i feel that the evidence right now is not there and if it was the company's -- the broadband companies themselves would have been, in fact, providing that evidence to their investors in their filings and they have not done so and so anecdotal evidence is not evidence, okay, there is no factual basis for that change and i just think it's going to go right to the heart of the internet's growth and job creation in the coming generations. now, if i could just moving on to the e-rate, i was the house author of the e-rate when it passed in 1996 into law, is
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there any question in your mind, mr. chairman, that this program is working and that the funding levels are at a level that meets the needs of our country? >> senator, e-rate is worth fighting for. i visited alaska native schools, i visited schools in sioux falls, dakota. >> you would not decrease level that will undermine the e-rate? >> we have not made any decisions on that score. we are trying to make sure the program work. >> you will make a commitment that you won't reduce funding?
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>> we are studying ways to -- >> will you commit to not reduce? >> it is a successful one, i believe that the changes that were put in place in 2015 have been successful. they have reached schools and students in every state across the country. >> mr. carr, will you commit that you won't reduce the funding? >> i have open mind of what the budget should be and how to make the decision when the record is developed on that. >> yeah, well, i haven't heard clear commitments and i think that's very troubling to be honest with you because this is the democratizing of force and each make clear that you believe it's key for our future reducing the funding, of course, it's not going to help to make sure that every child has access they are going to need in order to compete not only in our own country but globally in 21st century and i'm not satisfied which the answers that i've heard. again, rosenworcel, are you
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saying that you will not reduce the funding? >> ly not reduce the -- i will not reduce the funding. >> mr. carr and mr. pai, i wished that i had heard the same thing from you two. >> i arrived at the perfect time. let me start with all three of our nominees, we are following the repack issue closely. last week the fcc announced that the total reimbursement cost received from broadcasters who are required to repack as a result of the spectrum auction was over $2.1 billion, we know that the relocation fund is only authorized for 1.75 billion, if that 2.1 billion is a correct number, there's a significant funding shortfall. any requests that congress need
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to provide resources to prevent broadcasters from going dark and do you believe that the 30-month repack deadline is sufficient? >> senator, thank you for the question. as he pointed out the estimates have come in, a little bit about $2.1 billion, our fund administrator as well as fcc will have to evaluate cost assessments and determine whether they are appropriate or not. 2.1 could go down or up, i am in a position to say at this point that we expect, our anticipation is that the required expenses to reimburse the broadcasters will be above $1.7 billion and i expect that it would be necessary if broadcasters are going to be harmless in repack that congress would have to provide additional funding. >> other nominees want to add anything? let me follow up if not about the time deadline. >> yes, senator, we are obviously -- this is a very complex process. we have a number of different
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phases, we have given broadcasters and some taken advantage of that. i'm not in position to say the period would not be sufficient but if we get any record that would suggest that it isn't going to be sufficient, we will certainly notify the committee promptly. thank you, let me turn to 5g, we are the world leader in 4g, i'm worried we are not taking necessary steps for 5g. i'm told by carriers that they are outdated and would you agree that 5g deployment is critical for our economy and what steps, if so, is the fcc take to go eliminate barriers and costs to deployment? >> senator, i believe it's essential and make sure that the u.s. is at the forefront of
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innovation of 5g. i think the agency has spoken for several years that we want to be as inclusive as we can in terms of mid-low, mid-to high broadband spectrum. that's part of the reason i pointed out to chairman thune the inquiry that we will be voting. we are talking about tens of thousands of cells and infrastructure. make sure we work cooperatively with all stakeholders including governments in order to make sure that our 5g economy thrives consistent with the public interest. >> commissioner rosenworcel or
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mr. carr. >> the network 5g is going to be very different than 4g, we are going to have small cells dotting our landscape and so we are going to need to make sure that not just fcc policies but national environmental policy and national historic preservation policies are adjusted to reflect the realities of those facilities which are very different than traditional large-cell towers or macro cells. >> i tend to view it through not just innovations but jobs and economy. if we get the framework right, 275 billion in investment over the next decade to deploy 5g, 3 million new jobs and when you combine it with iot, you're looking at a trillion dollar boost to the economy so we need to get this piece of it right. >> when do you expect to have the proceedings physical -- finalize that begin to make
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spectrum available? >> we don't have a particular time frame that i can report to the committee but we are actively studying it and we are working with stakeholders to figure out those parts of the spectrum where we can take actions and other areas where more deliberation is needed, whether he obviously put those on hold. i can't give you a specific time frame but i can tell you it's the top priority. >> thank you all three. senator scatz. >> congratulations, mr. carr, i wanted to ask you the first question, whether, seven, eight, nine, ten million comments, would you say it's a record number of comments? >> i believe that's right, senator, yes. >> my question for you is what weight does that get in the process? i understand you have a legal standard when considering this matter but what weight does the
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fact that millions of people have expressed themselves with the fcc historic number, what weight does that give? >> i think that's very important. it show it is number of interest and that's something that we need to be taking into account. >> thank you. commissioner, pai, during your hearing i asked about enemy of the state, at the time you didn't answer the question totally on point. i understand you're a trump appointee and you're trying to strike that right balance in terms of being an independent agency but still understanding that you're a trump appointee and not weighing into presidential politics or bipartisan politics. but since then, the president has made additional comments about the media, consistently refers to the media as fake news media, garbage and made
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unsubstantiated claims of networks and newspapers, the president posted a video of himself wrestling cnn with the #fraudnewscnn. on june 28th, the amazon post, the guardian of amazon not paying internet taxes which they should is fake news. so the question i have for you chairman pai, since we last heard from you and given that context, have there been any direct or indirect communications about the media between you, your office and the white house this this committee should be aware of? >> senator, thank you for the question. i have consistently stated that i believe and i dare say my colleagues at the fcc believe that freedom of the press are critical and we value what broadcasters and newspapers to keep people informed and if i
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would ever asked by anyone in the administration to take retaliatory action, for instance, media regulatory proceeding, ill not do so. >> okay, so have there been any communications about the media between you, your office and the white house that the committee should be aware of? >> senator, i've been aware of the comments that the president has made -- >> right, has there been any communication that this committee should be aware of in light of the exchange that you've had with members of the committee during the confirmation hearing? i understand your position, i understand that you're saying, were you to ever be asked to do anything appropriate, you would decline to do anything inappropriate, my question is, have there been any i don't oversures direct or indirect in the hearing? >> senator, i don't believe so. i will make sure that you're informed. >> thank you.
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mr. carr, in 2014 when president obama expressed support for net neutrality rules, the department of commerce submitted an exparte notice putting the president's statement in the record. did this white house file an expartia with the fcc when it announced current support of internet order? >> i'm personally not aware of any filing at this time. >> is one required as gc of the commission, do you believe one is required? >> a standard under the eparte. >> what standard? >> exparte. >> i have no questions for you but expect to say thank you for public service and your patience, thank you to your family, what happened to you is unfair, we have to move
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expeditiously on your nomination and a quick question for each of the -- of the nominees on e-rate, one of the nation's leaders in school broadband, thanks to e-rate to modernization, do you commit to keeping the current e-rate intact to make sure all students can get connectivity that they need? >> senator, absolutely. i believe in strong e-rate and that's my commitment going forward. >> yes, absolutely. >> yes, i agree. >> thank you. >> senator blumenthal is recognized. >> thanks, chairman. i want to pursue just very quickly the questions that my colleague senator schatz asked regarding contacts with the white house. are you aware of any contacts or
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intervention. >> senator, i have not, nobody has weighed in with me. >> those kinds of contacts would be improper and probably illegal, correct? >> i refer to others as legality, it's our goal to be independent actor as we see them and not by the way others see them. >> i've been alarmed by the report and the nominee by the trump administration for attorney general for antitrust
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said a pending merger between
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cnn's parent company, time warner, and at&t, end quote. consistent with this reporting, the president himself was clear on this topic in an october 2016 speech just before the election. i quote then-candidate trump: as an example -- this is a quote, direct -- as an example of the power structure i'm fighting, at&t is buying time warner and, thus, cnn, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few, end quote. speaking of concentration of power, there is another major media merger pending before the fcc, the proposed acquisition of the tribune company by sinclair broadcasting. there are real concerns that this merger would violate media ownership rules, but the fcc has already helped pave the way for
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this merger by reinstating the so-called uhf discount that enables tv companies to get bigger. sinclair now requires all their local stations to air video commentary pieces by a former trump administration staffer who generally supports the trump add managers. administration. sin chair's ceo has also been quite complimentary of you personally. the contrasting approach here creates the very real perception that the trump administration would act to reward friendly coverage and punish negative coverage. so in light of the developments since march, i would like to seek renewed answers from you on two questions i posed in march. first, will you reassure us that that you will exercise your authority as chairman of the fcc to regulate the media in an impartial manner? >> yes, senator. >> thank you. have you had any communications with the white house directly or through an intermediary
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regarding any media regulatory issue since march? >> senator, i have not directly had any conversations with anyone in the administration with respect to media regulatory proceedings. to the best of my knowledge, no one on my staff or in the fcc has indirectly had any such conversations as well. >> thank you. finally, do you believe it is appropriate for any federal official with power over media organizations to attack or threaten them with legal or regulatory retaliation over negative news coverage, media coverage? >> senator, i certainly have never done so, and i commit to you that i will not do so, so long as i have the privilege of serving at the agency. >> thank you very much for that answer. i'm going to follow up with mr. carr and ms. rosenworcel. mr. pai responded on march 17th to a letter from every member of this committee that posed six questions along these lines. will you both commit to answer these same six questions for the record prior to a committee vote on your nominations?
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>> yes, senator. >> mr. carr? >> yes, senator. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to take this opportunity to note that senator hassan and i have requested a hearing in this committee on the current state of the u.s. media land scape. we've not had a hearing on that topic in over eight years, and i think it's a very timely one, and i hope you could reconsider that. i, one quick question here, and this should be quick because i think it's a yes or no. recently, there's been a spike in violence and intimidation against individual journalists. a republican congressman famously body slammed ben jacobs, a reporter for "the guardian," after being asked about his position on the house health care bill one day before his special election. a west virginia appropriator was arrested while -- reporter was arrested while asking hhs secretary price about the health care bill as well. trump white house staff reportedly have threatened to keep files of dirt on white house reporters. finish fcc security also man
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handled cq reporter john donnelly and pipped him against a wall -- pinned him against a wall after he sought to ask questions of commissioner o'rielly. will each of you commit to personally setting a good example for press access in your own public activities? >> yes. >> yes, absolutely. >> yes, senator. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator udall. what i'm going to do, i'm going to intend to stay through entire at least first round for everybody, but senator wicker does have to go. i'm going to recognize him next, and then we'll continue to move down the list that we have here. so, senator wicker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, chairman pai, as you know, accelerating broadband development in rural areas is a priority for many members on both sides of the dais. i've worked closely with you and the commission to insure that the agency's data collection methods regarding mobile broadband coverage are
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standardizedded. standardized data is necessary to insure that funds used to expand broadband deployment are targeted to truly underserved and unserved communities. in rural america and in my state of mississippi. would you agree that standardizing data collection is important to target sure these
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power deployments, the regulatory burden to the nature of the deployment, to figure out what is the appropriate
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calibration of those rules with respect to distributed antenna systems in terms of additional authority, it may be helpful in some cases for congress to give us that authority with respect to 5g and what is circumscribed. we are happy to work with you for any number of the committee that finds a creative solution for the benefits of the wireless revolution. >> do you have the authority you need? >> there are actions the s&p can take in terms of streamlining. whether it is working with federal lands or the fcc might have more limited authority? >> thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you for this hearing. i want to ask the chairman about a town hall on net neutrality, the chairman mentioned comments that may be artificial coming
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into the fcc in regards to the possible change of senate neutrality laws. my constituents had very real stories and we have a very big internet economy and want to grow that with a high concentration of software engineers and great schools like the university of washington. i hope you will be pulling out of that kind of data into the fcc, real examination of business models and challenges that any change and we are against any change at this time that you are going to look at the details individual businesses and consumers are filing with the fcc as it relates to this and not just push out and say it was a bunch of russians. >> we definitely will and when i say there is a full and fair review of the records, we don't
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exclude points of view for ideological or political reasons. we take an accurate assessment of what is recommended including the perspective from startups and consumers of the types that make their voices heard. >> we hope you will do that. >> looking at the fcc the department of homeland statistics, 209 cyberattacks, a big increase, don't you think the fcc should be doing more to look at the communication risk of the communications sector, not just advocating that, but pushing legislation on critical infrastructure side to make sure on the pipelines and electricity grid but why not take more
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responsibility in looking at the potential hacking and cybersecurity risks. >> this is a critical issue and in this capacity as chairman i had the ability to be briefed in a classified setting on these issues. i take firsthand appreciation how serious it is. we are guided by the rule of law. congress has given us circumscribed authority in this area. and the limits of that authority, i tried to engage the best we can with sister agencies to provide information about threats to the networks we see and keep myself a prize on threats that materialize, to ensure that businesses and consumers are protected. >> is there more we can be doing at the fcc now giving direction to the communication industry on security? >> yes. the first sentence of the
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communication act speaks about the use of communications for safety, life and property. congress was clear the fcc was intended to have a role. i disagree with my past colleagues. >> maybe this is something for the future since we had a good cybersecurity hearing, everyone's devices, now that everything is networked and together, they are the entry point obviously and i am concerned the washington post issued this story on how the russian government hacking the energy infrastructure at a nuclear power plant, thinking it is time to take it seriously is so many devices are the most vulnerable entry point to a network controlled by people in remote situations so hopefully we can follow on the last cyberhearing but thank you,
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mister chairman. >> for all people across this country, next up is senator baldwin. >> thank you, mister chair. recently in wisconsin i held roundtables on world broadband access to two communities, eagle river near the northern border in our state, and monticello in greene county near the illinois border, southern border of our state and very diverse communities, certainly some very similar themes i heard in both communities about lack of broadband access and their economic development, how it affects the ability to allow families to live there or vacation there.
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how it affects local healthcare providers to utilize the promise of electronic medical records. the local hospital making us into this decay did it system but patents can access electronic medical records without access to broadband and uploading a photo of the healing wounds, travel to a clinic or hospital, if there is no need. these are themes you are well familiar with. intense frustration of those people on the ground, just want to fix this problem who want to deploy the cyber, or whatever it
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means, the disconnect between the needs of these communities and federal programs that they know exist to help get broadband to places like paris. we talked a little bit about this in our earlier meeting. how would you respond to folks of eagle river, monticello, wisconsin. what is the fcc going to do to make sure people like them have access to the political resource? >> thank you for the question and advocacy on these issues. there's a lot the fcc can and should be doing, when is to reduce the costs of getting services, networks out to these parts of the country. spectrum will be a key resource as well. there's more to push them out of the marketplace and universal service support can be critical to many parts of the country, to
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areas that need it. >> i want to focus on broadband deployment and mention this is for the whole panel. there has been some confusion or lack of clarity as to whether the president's infrastructure proposal would include broadband or not. the initial proposal unveiled did not mention broadband, it was reported last month in iowa, broadband would absolutely be part of the $1 trillion package. because i'm concerned about the lack of clarity, and miss rosen
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and mister chi, i want to know where you stand with regard to whether broadband should be part of this infrastructure program. the follow-up question, if we advocate for these resources in infrastructure package, would you advocate for those resources to be deployed for existing programs through the new fcc programs or programs outside the fcc's orbit? why don't we start with you. >> the usual caveat, working out how to put together infrastructure package, the secretary of transportation recently said she believes broadband should be part of it. the sec has a mechanism that could be 1 potential avenue regarding those funds.
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>> thank you, this may come as no surprise that the administration has not spoken to me about the infrastructure proposal with respect to rural broadband. i do know this. if we wind up having additional programs for broadband, the sec or somewhere else, the right-hand and left-hand are talking to one another. many programs in the past, in addition to the fcc and one thing i have been struck by his lack of conversation about how those programs work together. >> my first major speech as chairman i said if there were to be in infrastructure plan i would urge strongly digital infrastructure that broadband be a part of it and urge with respect to the second question in the same speech that those funds be channeled to the sec existing mechanisms. and accountability, if we approve the package, they were
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wisely spent. there is a rule prosperity working group to be part of, convened by the secretary of agriculture, the secretary of energy and housing and urban development and others to figure out ways to synthesize our efforts so it is not a bunch of cooks cooking a bunch of different meals but we are all focused on rule broadband. in a clear way. >> thank you, senator baldwin. >> thank you, ranking member, for allowing the hearing to go on this long so we all get a chance to ask questions. congratulations on your nominations and congratulations to your family, and particularly and incredibly well behaved group of children sifting through this hearing. >> everybody has their tolerance but they are all doing extremely
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well. i wanted to touch for a minute on a topic senator udall raised and others have, obviously there is a link between the strength of our democracy and a free press. the first amendment in the constitution enshrines the national value by renting freedom to the press and the guard against censorship. many are concerned this administration has little regard for this value. to senator udall's point we asked for hearings on the state of the media and press since there hasn't been a hearing on this issue, since about 2009, because of the hostility we are seeing directed at the free press and because of the increase in consolidation of even more. i will reiterate this request as well but my question for each of
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you, if confirmed will you commit to upholding values to the united states constitution throughout your duties including those shrines in the first amendment protecting the free press. >> yes, senator. >> yes. >> thank you very much. i want to come back to the e rates program, you have worked diligently on these policies and i enjoyed our conversations about your work, too much homework gaps. i am grateful for your efforts, working to ensure that across the country, to complete their -- to compete in the global marketplace. i started the new hampshire school connectivity at the partnership to bring high-speed internet access to all our.
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there is broadband access at school. continuing the administration's initiatives on broadband including following through setting aside matching funds. in order to reap the educational benefits, we are seeing more and more having connection is not enough. we need greater broadband speeds at higher capacity to meet the needs of our students. fiber holds promise for connecting in this regard. 16% of schools black service providers to build out fiber connections for them. what is your response to these communities and how can we help them succeed in getting access
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to fiber? will it be a top priority for you? how can we help folks with the level of connectivity we need to help students succeed. >> the rate, the best tool we have to reach every school and every student with every broadband they need for modern education. some corners of new hampshire, that is something i will be happy to talk to you about. reforms were put in place and promises were made to every school and library, it is available to them and that promise is kept. >> i applaud your efforts, truly
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a bipartisan initiative, it is hard to say fast. with the rapid expansion of wireless dependent services woven into our daily lives which we have referenced, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide greater access to the fundamental finite resource. new hampshire is a home to many innovators, entrepreneurs, creative businesses, who provide manufacturing support for the internet of things. to ensure that we have reliable service we are accustomed to but also spur innovation and create new market opportunities for our economy to thrive. i realize my time is about to expire but can you discuss the role of unlicensed spectrum providing services to americans as well as fostering widescale
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wireless innovation and just briefly, with emerging prevalence of the internet of things and driverless cars do you believe we are postured to meet the demand with current policies for unlicensed spectrum? >> thank you for the question. if you have reviewed television remote control or a garage door opener or gone on wi-fi you have been used unlicensed spectrum. it powers our lives as we connect more things, more places and more devices, we are going to need more of it. unlicensed spectrum has no barriers to entry and that means it is where innovation can happen and innovation without permission. it requires licensed spectrum and unlicensed. >> one of the great things about the unlicensed economy is they exemplify what churchill brought to the table in 1941, to give
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more material to fight the war. we will finish the job. if we give these unlicensed innovators wide swath of spectrum, low, mid and high band, no telling what innovations will pioneer, and we want to be at the forefront of that. the fcc has spoken with a unified voice and common support to do that going forward. >> thank you for letting me go so far over time. >> thank you to all of you. thinking of the last person to ask questions, to go to the white house, one more. i know that many of my colleagues asked about net neutrality so i will say this is very important to our country and innovation and everything else. the second thing is broadband deployment. i have worked hard on the dig
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ones policy and senator fisher and i and others have been pushing on universal service funding and trying to figure out how to get more funding into rural areas and we did some standalone work here and the fcc came up with a compromise position but it is still an issue in rural areas, deployment, i wondered if i could get each of your thoughts on this end and what you can do on your end to get this moving so we don't have a digital divide which is getting tougher for rural states. >> thank you for your interest in this issue. i mentioned in my opening remarks in minneapolis, i held a roundtable where some broadband companies talked about these challenges. a lot of tools congress could give the fcc, i publicly
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endorsed senator koonce's opportunities, for internet service providers for digital connections and hard to serve locations and it would be helpful for similar policies to be the law of the land for the fcc to have pole attachments and critical cost elements that go to building a broadband network and as colleagues point out during the hearing we are committed to using every tool in the toolbox we have to make the deployment proposition and easy one. in urban areas, front and center for us. >> the agency working with local jurisdictions to come up with a model code for policies -- and have a series of shots.
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the agency can build into its policies and incentives for communities to adopt it and if it does that i can help expedite deployment. >> some funding with the infrastructure bill, always helpful. >> one score could be helpful, the cost of adding conduit on the front end is relatively small to dig up the streets and deploy it. to streamline that on the usf side, to target subsidies to the right places. >> what do you think we could do, to get better completion rates. >> it has been in issue.
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the ftc began a proceeding to see how they can take more action on the that. the more legislation that was produced might get an intermediary provider that can help make sure those calls are always going through. >> we worked on the connectivity act to make skilled nursing facilities eligible for funding for universal service healthcare program and signed into law last year. and concerned the current funding could -- how do you address the funding needs of vital telemedicine service. >> rural healthcare program has historically been under subscribed and was adjusted and new opportunities made available
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including skilled nursing and the result of that success has increased considerably so the agency going forward wrestles with prioritizing that demand and the first application in the door but put some priority on rural areas because that is what congress intended when it laid down this law. >> a few other questions on the record. >> and legislation we might add. >> i would like to thank the chair and the nominees for having this conversation. as you can tell i had a terrible cold. and we had a good conversation. i hope i'm heading into kathleen turner territory. i'm transitioning, last month
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federal court struck down regulations, and senator booker asked a question about this as well and the us court of appeals on the dc circuit stated rates charge could be extraordinarily high, with rate caps for that cost. and the legal defense of its decision but at the end earlier this year, and a june 19th article in the new york times they attribute this decision to you. am i correct that the commission's efforts to protect families and inmates from outrageously high rates of calling services you are not endorsing astronomically expensive -- congress has not provided fcc with interest rate
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prison calls. >> illegal position we talk and i welcome additional authority should congress provide it. >> to help address that issue, i plan to introduce the video dissertation, to raymond -- often ridiculous prices to take and communicate that, with clear authority and common sense rules for video visitation and inmates calling services including outreach of high rates. with long-overdue rules to make sure visitation service contracts are effectively managed and overseen. this consumer oriented visitation, as a supplement and not replacement of in person visitation for recidivism and regulatory communication.
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this legislation would address your concerns. and prison calling services and legislation. >> look forward to working with you on it. >> you previously committed to this as well. i would like to give both of you the opportunity as well. >> i would commit to working with you. the number that sticks with me is 2.7 million children in this country who have a parent in prison and we know recidivism is affected by the ability to stay in close contact with family. and work with you -- and make sure. >> i welcome the chance to work on this. >> donald trump announced his infrastructure proposal will promote and foster enhanced
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broadband access for rural america. according to the 2016 broadband progress report, 56% of rural illinois lack adequate broadband service in illinois and ensure everyone has reliable internet access, and educate children top priority and many kids can't do their homework because they don't have broadband, we still haven't seen any details on the infrastructure package, several accounts suggest it will i heavily on various forms of tax incentives to encourage providers to deploy and upgrade broadband in rural areas. some expressed support for using connect america fund as a mechanism for disturbing potential infrastructure funding. is this an appropriate mechanism to connect america fund, and how would you modify the program to accommodate this role to assure funding injected into the system
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supplements industry investments and does not actually take over. >> thank you for the question. it is important and complicated. let me give you a quick answer. i think what is most important to me here is something i mentioned to one of your colleagues earlier, that if there are additional programs as a result of an infrastructure package it is imperative that we about how they work in conjunction with the annual $4.5 billion fund for universal service. it is imperative the right hand talks to the left and we don't duplicate efforts or wind up with policies the crowd out investment that would have occurred without that spending. >> thank you. you have highlighted consensus-based decisionmaking and expressed frustration about delegated authority. is that a fair statement? >> yes. >> you issued a press release in
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december of 2014 with commissioner o'reilly about his concerns and commissioner clyburn expressed frustration earlier this month about learning about the approval of this deal, learning about the press release. i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record of 2014 press release in a july 2017 tweet from commissioner clyburn. in august of last year fcc voted 3-numtwo to adopt disclosure requirements for share service agreements, is that correct? >> i believe that data is correct. >> subject to approval each broadcasting station with a shared service agreement, the same or different television markets would be required to file a copy with online public inspection file. fcc withdraw its request to approve the collection of information in 2017 and if so, why and is fcc plan to submit its request to omb?
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>> i'm not familiar with that information but i am happy to get back to you with a status report on where that information collection stands. >> were you aware of that development? >> i no longer serve with the agency. i don't have up-to-date details. i would be happy to follow up and provide more information. >> i don't recall specifics of that one. >> thank you all for being very kind and i apologize for canceling a meeting yesterday. i yield back. >> thank you. i think that exhausts the questions for today. i want to thank our nominees for being here for your testimony, your responses to our questions. as was pointed out earlier, the most exciting things happening falling under this committee's
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jurisdiction under the regulatory authority of the sec. we are doing everything we can to advance the new technologies and make sure people across the country have access to high-speed internet and all the advantages that come with that that are available to the people in populated areas around the country as well. so we are looking forward to moving this process along and thank you for your willingness to serve, your families, their dedication and commitment to the worthy cause of public service and looking forward to hopefully being able to get the nomination process, confirmation process, i should say, moving quickly. i want to enter into the record on behalf of senator nelson four letters of support for jessica rosen worth's nomination to the fcc and we will keep the hearing record until friday, july 21st,
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and during that time senators are asked to submit any additional questions for the record on receipt. we ask our witnesses to estimate their written answers in committee by july 31st so that we can get scheduled for a markup real soon. with that, this hearing is adjourned. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> all-news on had. i think the justice department will give it due consideration. if there are any antitrust issues that need to be addressed, they will address
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them. i feel fairly confident the process is moving forward, seeing all the questions being answered. >> you share the concern the white house is trying to criticize meddling in a deal. >> i guess i don't, but i guess they have their views about that. i don't have that concern. [inaudible question] >> we will try to report them out in this work period before the recess. i don't know if we have a date scheduled yet. we haven't noticed a markup yet but plan to do it very soon. it will be early on. >> democrats taking another look at mobile now and other
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legislation called on the commission. >> i haven't gotten a formal commitment from them to do that but i have pointed out to senator schumer we are moving the nomination forward. hopefully he will soften up a little bit on -- he told me -- i hope to see some progress. >> get the floor vote on the nominations before? >> they are starting to get stacked up on the floor. that would be great but a lot depends on the democrats, and democrat leadership really slowing the process, and even non-time controversial nominees. ..
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>> could cause trouble? >> well, i don't have those. i mean, i think that he's smart, thoughtful and i think it would be an independent voice on the commission. obviously he knows his issues and have been knowing the issues for a long time. the legalities which are very complicated. i don't have that and i think he'll be a good member. i think we have to get these folks all confirmed and over
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there we will have full confidence on the fcc an at least good work they can do together. >> more authority on prison calling rates? >> she wasn't the only one. booker. yeah, yeah. we will take a look at that. i mean, yeah. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> thanks, guys. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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