Conflict continues between senator and FCC


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been trying to learn about the FCC dealings involving the LightSquared project, and has asked that his staff be allowed to meet with a departing FCC executive who is cited as its “father.” The FCC isn’t going there, and as a result, neither are the nominations of prospective FCC commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai.

The official who Grassley would like to set up for a chat is Paul de Sa, who is said to be exiting the Commission next month. Grassley says there should be no problem honoring this request. As he pointed out in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the Chairman himself promised staff would be made available to address the Senator’s concerns at the Senator’s convenience.

Instead, Grassley says he is hearing that de Sa is not available and that his own ongoing investigation into LightSquared is being called a “witch hunt” by at least one FCC official.

“The FCC chairman should make this staff member available to fulfill his commitment,” Grassley said.  “Otherwise, the words weren’t meaningful.  And the FCC’s lack of transparency on LightSquared and the questions it raises will continue.”

RBR-TVBR observation: You just have to love Congress. The only things the two FCC nominees and underlying documents related to LightSquared have in common are the letters F, C and C. Yet in Washingtonworld, they seem to be married without possibility of divorce.

534 legislators could agree on a piece of legislation (we know it sounds like a fantasy, but it could happen – or at the very least, it could happen in OUR fantasy) and the 535th, as long as #535 is a member of the Senate, could bring the legislation to a screeching halt.

After covering Washington for a number of years, we are frankly amazed that anything at all gets done in the Federal City.