Barack Obama is still the president of the United States until Jan. 20, but Republican senators don’t want the Federal Communications Commission to do much of anything before Donald Trump takes over.
In a Wednesday letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — one day before the commission is set to meet — Sen. John Thune urged the agency not to take on any “complex, partisan, or otherwise controversial” initiatives, and said anything the FCC did or plans to do post-election day will get a closer look.
“Any action taken by the FCC following Nov. 8, 2016, will receive particular scrutiny,” Thune wrote in the letter. “I strongly urge the FCC to avoid directing its attention and resources in the coming months to complex, partisan, or otherwise controversial items that the new Congress and new Administration will have an interest in reviewing.”
Thune added that “there are certainly many consensus and administrative matters on which the Commission can instead focus its energies to conclude.”
Wheeler had championed an FCC proposal to change the leased set-top box business model, which would have forced pay-TV companies to develop apps that would allow customers to access content without having to rent a cable box, which costs them on average about $200 a year. But in September, the agency pushed back a vote on the proposal after questions were raised by entertainment organizations, including the Motion Picture Association of America and the Directors Guild of America.
The FCC also codified rules last year regarding net neutrality — not allowing internet providers to throttle data or provide “fast lanes” for preferred content — a policy Trump has previously signaled his opposition to.