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Reps. Clarke, Green Statement on FCC’s Set Top Box Rule to the House Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Today, the House Appropriations Committee is considering the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government (FSSG) Appropriations Bill. We commend the Committee for including in the underlying bill, language requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to complete a study on the impact of its proposed set top box rule on consumers and the telecommunications ecosystem.

The FCC’s proposed rule has the potential to detrimentally impact consumer privacy, creative rights, diversity of voices, cybersecurity, energy efficiency and the consumer experience. This is why we, along with 175 Members of Congress, have raised these concerns. In April, 53 House Democrats joined our letter to the FCC, calling for the Commission to push the “pause button” on its proceeding while these serious concerns are thoroughly examined in a peer reviewed report.

Regrettably, the FCC seems intent upon moving forward, and has been dismissive of the legitimate concerns raised by Congress, as well as numerous civil rights organizations, content providers, minority programmers, labor unions, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens. We ask why does it appear as though the FCC is so determined to finalize this rule. Given the breadth of opposition and the likely harm that would result to consumers, Congress is right to insist that the FCC suspend its artificial timetable and conduct an independent review that will fully examine the potential unintended consequences that would likely result from the Chairman’s proposal.”