Grassley to Block FCC Appointments over Agency’s Approach to LightSquared/GPS Issue

Senator Chuck Grassley

Fed up with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ignoring his repeated requests for information about the agency’s fast-tracking of the LightSquared broadband project, Sen. Chuck Grassley said today (November 3, 2011) that he will hold up the two pending nominees for FCC commissioner positions.

Fed up with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ignoring his repeated requests for information about the agency’s fast-tracking of the LightSquared broadband project, Sen. Chuck Grassley said today (November 3, 2011) that he will hold up the two pending nominees for FCC commissioner positions.

In a statement entered into the Senate record, the Iowa Republican said that he would “object to proceeding to the nomination because the FCC continues to stonewall a document request I submitted to the FCC over six months ago on April 27, 2011, regarding their actions related to LightSquared and Harbinger Capital.  Since then, I have repeated my request to the FCC through letters I sent on July 5th and September 8th and the FCC continues to deny my request for documents.”

On Monday President Obama nominated Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Varadaraj Pai to serve on the five-member commission.

Rosenworcel, who serves as a senior staffer to the Senate Commerce Committee, would replace current Democrat Michael J. Copps, for whom she previously served as an advisor, when his term ends this year.

Pai would fill an empty seat created when Republican Meredith Attwell Baker resigned to join Comcast last spring. He is a partner in the law firm Jenner & Block, who previously served in the office of general counsel at the FCC.

Grassley has pressed the FCC to explain why it decided to fast-track LightSquared’s licensing process amid a series of red flags.  These include warnings that LightSquared’s interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) signals would cause major problems.

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