WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke on the floor in praise of the bipartisan bill, H.R. 4986, the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act (RAY BAUM’S Act), authored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), which passed earlier today under suspension of House rules. This bill reauthorizes the Federal Communication Commission for the first time in 28 years and includes Whip Scalise’s FCC Consolidated Reporting Act.
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“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Chairman for yielding and for his leadership in working together in a very bipartisan way to bring forward the RAY BAUM Act. Not only is this piece of legislation important to reauthorize the FCC and the important work that they do, but it also is a fitting tribute to Ray Baum, himself, and in so many ways to all the work that our great staffs do to allow this Capitol to work properly, to allow Congress to work for the American people. It doesn’t just take Members of Congress, but it takes an incredibly dedicated, talented staff and each of us are blessed to have wonderful staff–I’m surely no exception–that allow us to do our job so well and the fact that we are using this legislation to pay tribute to Ray Baum and all of the staff of the capitol, I think is equally important, that we do just this.
“Mr. Speaker, President Trump challenged Congress to make the federal government more accountable to the American people, to eliminate red tape that hurts job creation and economic growth, and the RAY BAUM Act does just that. First of all, we meet those two goals by doing a number of things. The legislation will reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission for the first time in 28 years. The FCC does important work for our country especially in the telecommunications arena and I’m proud to continue to serve on the Telecommunications Subcommittee, which is one of the great examples of United States dominance. America is the dominant force in the world in technology and it’s important that we have fair rules of the game and the FCC is that arbiter. The fact that they haven’t been reauthorized for 28 years, I think it’s long past due that we get this done. We also make critical reforms that will modernize the agency with tools that it needs to meet the demands of consumers for the 21st century. The legislation creates an important backstop for our local radio and TV broadcasters who have been completing the final stage of the incentive auction. This keeps America on track to be the global leader on 5G communications by implementing new spectrum policy. This is something our committee has led on. The country needs more spectrum. We’ve been able to find creative ways to free up more spectrum so that more investment, billions of dollars of private sector investment, can be used to build up these great networks, 3G, 4G, and now 5G, so that we can continue to advance technology
“I’d also like to thank Chairwoman Blackburn for including the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. I worked so closely on with Senator Heller for years to try to get this legislation passed. This is included as part of this legislation. This will provide relief to so many job creators and to the FCC by consolidating and eliminating so many outdated reporting requirements. What do I mean by eliminating outdated reporting requirements, Mr. Speaker? How often do we hear about things that are on the books, laws that are on the books, that are so outdated and so unnecessary? This is one of the reports that we’re updating in this bill. Right now, there is still on the books, a requirement that the FCC reports on the annual competition within the telegraph industry. Mr. Speaker, that’s right, since Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, back in the 1830’s, that might have been important in the 1800’s, even in the early 1900’s, but the fact that today in 2018 there’s still a requirement the FCC issues a report on competition within the telegraph industry is a glaring example of why it’s so important for us to update our laws and eliminate outdated laws. We are getting rid of this ridiculous requirement and a number of other unnecessary and ridiculous requirements like this so that we can free the FCC up to do the important work they need to do. So again, I commend the Chairman for the work he’s done in a very bipartisan way to bring forth the RAY BAUM Act and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and I yield back the balance of my time.”