House Democrats Urge Postponement of Walden Spectrum Bill Vote


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TVB | House Democrats Urge Postponement of Walden Spectrum Bill Vote
In part.
WASHINGTON: House Democrats are asking for a postponement of tomorrow’s subcommittee vote on a spectrum bill proffered Tuesday by their Republican colleague. California Democrats Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo sent a letter today to the leadership of the House Commerce Committee asking for the delay. The pair also released a spectrum bill yesterday, just hours after the one from Walden, who scheduled the vote.
Walden and Upton favored auctioning the D block, but Walden’s bill cedes to outright allocation. Waxman and Eshoo concurred on the D block, but took issue with other points in the bill. It provides no set-aside for unlicensed spectrum the TV bands, which Democrats favor. Walden’s bill puts state governments in charge of building the public safety network, and grants deployment and oversight to a private contractor. Democrats favor the formation of a national nonprofit and have dubiety about the cost and accountability of using a private contractor for oversight.

They also questioned the $3 billion channel-repacking fund, and the amount dedicated to create the public safety network.

“This is three times larger than the amount CBO has advised would be necessary to cover broadcasters’ reasonable expenses,” they said. “We do not understand why this broadcaster fund is so generous, especially when the new language provides just $5 billion for building the new public safety network, which is less than half the funds provided in the bipartisan Senate legislation and our proposal.”