tv [untitled] CSPAN June 21, 2009 3:00am-3:30am EDT
there. that creates the competition for the private plan. there will be a public plan in the bill. will people vote for? i don't know. who wants to go home during next year's primary and say that i voted against a plan that would provide 30,000 people in my district, most of whom are nonwhite, most of whom are poor, most of whom are working, and those who do not have a way to get insurance. i don't think that as a boat that many people will make. . .
ppointed by president bush. you're watching live coverage on c-span 3. >> -- the federal communications commission. as i have said before, i believe being an fcc commissioner is one of the most daunting, awesome, fearsome, time-consuming, sleep-depriving jobs in washington, d.c. and i think it's also one of the most underappreciated and is one of the very most important. the powers of the fcc are absolutely vast. people have no idea the decisions that it makes impacts every single american one way or another, whether they know it or not, whether they care or not.
it does. so it has to be done right. from the bills that we pay for phone and cable services to our ability to reach public safety in times of crisis, that's just a little part of it. from the content that gets broadcast into millions of living rooms throughout america to the broadband remarks or networks that can bring equal opportunities to our largest cities and smallest rural areas, fcc oversees it all. the decisions this agency makes are vital to our nation's future. because we entrust fcc commissioners with these vast powers, i didn't let you introduce, but i will before he speaks, we expect a lot from our commissioners. we expect a lot. i apologize, chuck. yet over the last decade, the
agency has at least to this senator been disappointing. too often, fcc commissioners have focused on making sure that the policies that they advocate serve the ideas and the needs of the companies that they regulate and their bottom lines. that's not the kind of committee this should be or it's not what the fcc should be. time and time again, the fcc has short-changed consumers and the public interest. the influence of special interests at the agency is especially troubling. even noteworthy in the distasteful way that they clamor for their preferred candidates for fcc office. that is why i remain deeply interested in fcc reform and that is why i continue to weigh the merits of fcc reauthorization.
i want an fcc that is transparent, that inspires public confidence, that makes our digital infrastructure a model for the world. tragically, this has not been the case for some time. but if the past has been bleak, we have cause for optimism because i have met the administration's nominee for the chairman, that being you. i am thoroughly impressed. he brings to the job both public and private sector experience. he has the enthusiasm for power of communications but the tasks before him are complex. the days undoubtedly will be long. so, sir, let me be very clear about what the challenge before you is, in my view. fix the agency. or we will fix it for you.
fix this agency, prove to us that the fcc is not battered beyond repair. show us that the fcc can put consumers first and give them confidence that when they interact with the agency, they will get a fair response. show us that the american people can trust the data that the fcc produces and that it can guide us to good and honest policy. show us that the american people can have affordable and robust broadband no matter who or where they might live. show us that parents can have confidence to view the programming in their homes without their children being exposed to violent and i would say indecent content. show us that the agency can think beyond its borders.
i work with industry and government to create jobs. so does the fcc. we've got to expand entrepreneurship, grow educational resources and improve health care. that's just for starters. i wind up saying let me remind you the congress and the american people look to you for these reforms. i thank you for joining us today. i was proud to meet your family who you must introduce after chuck introduces, senator schumer introduces you, and your willingness to serve. i am awed by your willingness to serve because you're going to be a lot older when you're finished. and i look forward to your testimony. >> i think i should let the ranking member go first. >> mr. chairman, i do have an opening statement but i would be happy to let senator schumer
introduce the nominee. i would be happy to. >> please go ahead. >> okay. mr. chairman, thank you. thank you forolding this hearing. i have met with mr. genikowski and am, too, very impressed. i think he certainly has the capability to handle this job and it is a big one, as the president -- i mean as the chairman has said. eloquently. i want to talk about a couple of areas that i think are very important and where the fcc is going to have a major role. of course, broadband. we know that there was a major commitment to broadband help in the stimulus package and the fcc is currently putting together a broadband map. i believe it is so important that we assure that everyone has broadband access before we go
into underserved areas. unserved should come before underserved as a matter of a level playing field where some have already made an investment, but also because our rural areas must be able to have broadband before we go into an area that has some but not enough. secondly, broadcasters have certainly been through a technology revolution and they have provided invaluable services to our nation. i just hope that we will not overburden broadcasters as they are trying to deal with the increased competition in their field with new regulatory burdens and reporting requirements that would just make it more difficult for them to thrive in this market. i do think the fcc has a major
role to play. i am the mother of two young children and i am amazed at some of the things that are on networks that are supposed to be okay for children, and i hope the fcc will look carefully at what is appropriate for children and young people as they are looking at the open air waves that we all appreciate. net neutrality is going to be a huge issue for the fcc and i do want to know what the nominees that we are going to hear from today will believe is the right way to go in any future network management proposals, because i think that it is going to be very important that we again keep the ability of a company to
have control of its own internet workings and i would hope there would be less interference in that except where necessary, of course. last, mr. chairman, copyright protections are a critical aspect of promoting richness in programming and entertainment options, and i hope that we will hear from the nominees about their views on what we should be doing in protecting copyrights in the entertainment industry. so as the chairman has said and i think i have filled in some of the details, you have a huge portfolio with the fcc. i think responsible, common sense regulation is going to be what i'm looking for for our fcc commissioners and i'm very pleased that you are here and mr. mcdowell after you, and mr. chairman, thank you for holding this hearing.
>> thank you very much, senator hutchison. now with the forbearance of the committee, since we have a most senior democrat, i forget the state, but he's very important, he's very shy, and if i don't call on him he may just leave the room. senator chuck schumer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am so -- first i want to thank you you, ranking member, all the members, for giving me really the honor to introduce julius genikowski, one of my former staffers and good friends, before he's confirmed to be chairman of the fcc. i have had the pleasure of knowing julius for more than 20 years. in fact, after his new york upbringing, i went to college and then hired him right out of college. he worked for me long and hard. i have been blessed with a dedicated and hard-working staff but julius will always stand
out. thanks in large part to the work ethic that his family instilled in him, his parents are in the audience today and i have had the pleasure of knowing them. they can speak volumes about the adoration they have for julius and his brothers, joey and allan, who are also here. i would like to say hello to his wife rachel and his three beautiful children, jake, aaron and lyla. i remember that julius demonstrated a passion for consumer rights from the day he came to congress. one of his signature issues was working on what is now called the schumer box, which is what is on all credit card applications. it should have been called the genikowski box but his name was too long so they put mine in but he did most of the work and deserves most of the credit and it helped dramatically reduce credit card interest rates once people knew what they were. they used to be buried in the fine print. i know he's going to carry that
company road and how those two entities must work together to shape the future of telecommunications. he's held numerous positions at iac interactive corp, a fortune 500 media and technology company. he was a special advisor for general atlantic, a global growth equity firm and most recently, he co-founded both launch box digital and rock creek ventures, which helped to advise, launch and accelerate tech companies in their early stages. so julius is creative, knowledgeable and respected, probably as creative, knowledgeable and respected a nominee that the fcc has ever seen. i admire his ability to blend pragmatism with bold thinking. he knows the telecommunications and economy that is fundamentally based on
interconnectiveities instrumental to job creation and entrepreneurship in the u.s. the president knows julius has the ability to harness telecommunication technology, to shape our country's initiatives from health care to education to energy and that's why he chose julius to serve as chairman of the technology media and telecommunications policy working group that created the obama technology and innovation plan. so i couldn't think of a more well prepared nominee, someone who cares more about the agency, someone who has more qualities that will make him live up to the strong and high, appropriately high challenges that you, mr. chairman and ranking member hutchison have laid before him and i'm proud to introduce him to this committee. thank you very much for letting me testify. >> thank you very much, senator schumer. we value you greatly and your presence is most welcome.
>> i would like to call now on senator clobuchar. >> mr. chairman, i'm very pleased today to be here for mr. genikowski's nomination. i see his family is here which is very exciting. i met his young son out by the bathroom, which was also very exciting, and i'm very pleased after meeting with him and just his focus on what he wants to do at the agency. one of my pet peeves is while the agency's website was at one point a really ground-breaking website, i think it's kind of fallen behind and a lot of people complain about access on the website. i was glad that he wanted to look at that. i was telling him outside that the dtv transition is going at least in my state, i won't speak for anyone, better than we thought and that the fcc
commissioner mcdowell and i talked about this on friday, and the commerce department have worked together on this and i think a lot of our fears were unfounded. of course, there are problems and glitches that will have to be fixed, and then of course, just as the other senators spoke about, the broadband issue is very important to me. the other thing, did you want to have me ask questions, mr. chairman, or are we just doing the opening statements? is this what we're doing here? are we doing openings? >> did you have a treatise in mind? >> no, i didn't. i was just so happy to get called on to give an opening statement. i'll just finish up here. >> that's fine. >> okay. the last thing that we spoke about briefly was something that senator warner and i have introduced legislation, and we hope other members of the committee will look at it, called dig once. it's a simple idea that if you're going to be building a federal highway, federal road project, and you want to put in conduit for broadband, we know
we want to do this all over the country, that you should be doing it at the same time. literally something like 90% of the cost of broadband installation is that road work. and you can literally save about ten times the cost if you simply do it at the same time. it certainly was popular in my state yesterday when they were dealing with the road construction dealing with the road construction season in minnesota with all the orange cones and delays and clos close highways. i hope it's something the sec will be taking seriously. we're very excited for your new leadership in the sec and we're excited to be working with you. thank you. >> thank you. senator pryor? >> thank you. i'll just submit an opening statement for the record. mr. chairman, it's good to have you back in the saddle, feeling 100% and running this committee like you should be. >> thank you.
>> mr. chairman, let me also echo what nart psenator pryor s. it's good to have you back in the saddle. we very much appreciate your leadership on this committee. >> do i have to ride horses? >> if you come to my state you're going to ride a horse, okay? we'll saddle you up and you'll do just fine. no doubt about it. i would like to echo also what the ranking member, senator hutchinson said about broadband a and. it is so important, i think, that we get the country connected. and as you, you know, if we look at the various points in our history where we weren't connected, with the railroads in the 1880s, we made a major investment, and we encourage railroads to serve the swier
country. and when fdr in the 30s and 40s, we real liz looized we weren't connected with electricity. we brought electricity to rural areas with rural electric co-ops. i really hope that your tenure at the fcc shows the leadership to lead out on broadband. i applaud senator warner for the bill in thinking through how we put this in. one of the areas i would like you to think about and address in your opening statement is indian country with we have some real problems out there in terms of not only broadband and telephones. i remember when president clinton was trying to demonstrate the digital divide. and i think i told you this in our meeting. he started out in the silicon valley and ended up in ship rock, new mexico. the young lady who introduced
him was a star student. she got up and did the introduction and she talked about how she won a computer because of her academic prowess, and then she took it home, but she didn't have a phone line, she didn't have the ability to plug it in. and he used that trip from the silicon valley to ship rock, new mexico, on the navajo reservation to show the huge digital divide. so i hope that your leadership there will move us down the road and this committee will step up to the plate. it's wonderful to see that tie on your son out there. very impressive young man. he seems to have disappeared. >> he's still preparing. >> thank very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator johan. >> thank you very much.
>> i can't be here long today because of other commitments, but i did want to stop by and offer you a few thoughts. first of all, we haven't had an opportunity really to meet or to talk at any length, so i look forward to that opportunity. i have to tell you, looking at your background, your resume. you've prepared yourself well for what you're about to get yourself into. it's a huge with a huge responsibility. secondly, it occurs to me i don't know who would be qualified. so i really wish you the very, very best and look forward to working with you on a whole range of issues. so many good things have been mentioned and i don't want to repeat them, other thato indica indicate, yes, of course, for me, issued like broadband,
broadband in rural areas, sparsely populated areas would, of course, be important. much of nebraska is that way. maybe sometime you can stop by the office. i would love to visit with you about the community advisory boards. i can't say there's huge controversy out there, but there's some controversy. there is some concern that, you know, if a local broadcaster doesn't know the community who could possibly know the community? but again, i don't want to side track you on the issue. i think something that i can visit with you about and i'm anxious to do that. i would also like to hear some thoughts about economic growth in rural areas. i do think, maybe it's broadband and maybe it's sot other things we can do together to try to
introduce, as a former mayor, it's different than creating a joeb in other areas. i want to put a strong endorsement for someone i hope will be your future colleague and that's commissioner mcdowell who will follow ewe. i just think the two of you have a great opportunity to work together. i find commissioner mcdowell to be bright, extremely fair, open minded. i think you can create a bond and a working relationship that kind of extends across the aisle like many of us do on this committee. i really encourage that in urgent -- looking at your resume, knowing him better than i actually know you at this
point. i just think there's a tremendous amount of brain power that put to work can really help our great neigh. final thing, having sat in your seat at one point in my career, i just want to say congratulations. your family and i would say the same thing to commissioner mcdowell. your family can be so proud of this day. this is really great and i wish you the very, very best, very anxious to work with you in the weeks and months ahead. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator lautenberg. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome. i enjoyed our chance to chat. and when we saw what recently happened, the federal governm t
government, we moved from analog to digital. it promises better al qaeda till and it will flree of space for broad dand and public safety needs. i am pleased with how successful the transition was and i look forward to the benefits that it will brick to those residents of new jersey who had been in previous years out of good quality of transmission. they showed the kind of leadership we expect from the sec. if you are confirmed, and there's little doubt in my mind, we expect them to continue the commitment and the leadership that we've seen. based on the proven track record i believe that you'll be up to
the task. and we heard from chuck schumer about your past experience and we know that he was very impressed with the kind of work you did and takes total credit. if these nominees, you and mr. america dowel are confirmed you're going to still have very critical tasks that have to get attention. our work on the digital transition is not yet done. we need a plan that broadband network, using some airways freed up by the switch to digital. and we still need to make more of our communication system work for the residents in new jersey. new rs
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