The authoritative news source for communications regulation

Biography for Jimm Phillips

Jimm Phillips, Associate Editor, covers telecommunications policymaking in Congress for Communications Daily. He joined Warren Communications News in 2012 after stints at the Washington Post and the American Independent News Network. Phillips is a Maryland native who graduated from American University. You can follow him on Twitter: @JLPhillipsDC

Recent Articles by Jimm Phillips

Congress Extends Spectrum Bill Talks Via FCC Stopgap, but Stumbling Blocks Remain

Congress is buying itself more time to continue negotiations on a potential spectrum legislative package by agreeing to temporarily extend the FCC’s auction authority through Dec. 16 (see 2209210076), but the breathing room hasn’t appreciably improved prospects those talks will result in a deal by the new deadline, lawmakers and lobbyists told us last week. The House voted 230-201 Friday to pass a continuing resolution that includes the FCC renewal and an extension of federal appropriations to the Dec. 16 date (HR-6833). The Senate approved it Thursday (see 2209290066). President Joe Biden was expected to sign the measure before FY 2022 appropriations expired late Friday.Read More >>

Rodgers Warns FCC, FTC Against Exceeding Statutory Authority Ahead of Midterms

House Commerce Committee ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., warned the FCC and FTC not to "continue to exceed Congressional authorizations" given the "limitations" on their authority highlighted in the Supreme Court's June West Virginia v. EPA ruling. The high court further clamped down on the ability of agencies like the FCC to regulate without clear direction from Congress (see 2206300066). The committee "will exercise our robust investigative and legislative powers" to ensure federal agencies don't overreach, Rodgers told FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and FTC Chair Lina Khan in Sept. 23 letters released Wednesday. Rodgers appears to be putting federal agencies on notice ahead of the GOP's potential regain of House control in the Nov. 8 midterm election.Read More >>

Lawmakers Seen Nearing Deal to Extend FCC Spectrum Auction Authority Through Dec. 16

Telecom-focused lawmakers are hopeful they will be able to reach a final deal in the coming days to include a short-term extension of the FCC’s expiring spectrum auction authority in a potential continuing resolution to extend federal appropriations past Sept. 30 (see 2209090053). Talks Wednesday appeared to be strongly coalescing around a stopgap reauthorization through Dec. 16 -- in line with the likely expiration of the overall CR -- but there’s been no final deal, lawmakers and lobbyists told us. Lawmakers believe the temporary renewal will give them more breathing room to reach a deal on a broader spectrum legislative package during the lame-duck session (see 2208090001).Read More >>

House Ag Leaders Eye Broadband Adds to 2023 Farm Bill, Amid IIJA Criticisms

House Agriculture Committee leaders eyed how to address broadband issues in the 2023 farm bill during a Thursday hearing, with panel ranking member Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and some others noting dissatisfaction with the degree to which the $65 billion in connectivity money included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would affect rural areas. “Rural broadband will continue to be a major focus” for House Agriculture despite House passage of IIJA’s connectivity money instead of the panel-approved Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act (HR-4374), which included $43 billion to Rural Utilities Service programs for FY 2022-29 (see 2107140061), said panel Chairman David Scott, D-Ga.Read More >>

Sohn Supporters, Opponents Eye Lame-Duck Confirmation Push Amid Busy September

The Senate is highly unlikely to act on FCC nominee Gigi Sohn before the November election amid a busy legislative calendar and a campaign-centric atmosphere on Capitol Hill that’s made confirmation next to impossible for any Biden administration picks who lack GOP support, lawmakers and lobbyists said in interviews. Top Senate Commerce Committee Republicans all but shot down speculation that circulated during the August recess that pairing Sohn with an eventual replacement for retiring GOP FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips (see 2208170039) could ease GOP opposition to the FCC nominee’s confirmation.Read More >>