Congress may soon help the 1.76 million consumers anxiously waiting for their $40 digital TV converter coupons. According to Congress Daily, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is drafting legislation to push back the February 17 digital television transition deadline as requested last week by both Consumers Union and the incoming Obama Administration.
The Senate Commerce Committee issued a bold press release aggressively backing FCC Commissioner Michael Copps’ contention that the nation is woefully unprepared for the pending transition to digital television. The release is a stunning rebuke to the FCC and the Commerce Department, which have dickered over responsibility for the ongoing transition. The Committee plans to hold a hearing on February 14 to find out just what content should, under ideal circumstances, go here. Full release, after the jump.
Today at 10 a.m., the Senate Commerce Committee will pry through bone and muscle to see if cellphone companies really do have hearts of pure stone. The Committee will question the industry’s most egregious practices: junk fees, illegal contract extensions, and early termination fees. The industry is working overtime to cast itself as the consumer’s best friend, with AT&T recently agreeing to prorate ETFs as part of a desperate attempt to show that federal regulation is unnecessary.
The Senate Commerce Committee is poised to extend the internet tax moratorium by the end of next week. The moratorium prevents states and localities from taxing internet access, but will expire on November 1 unless Congress acts. There are two competing proposals that pit state legislatures and the National Governors Association against Google and Verizon.
Join us at 2:30 we liveblog the Senate Commerce Committee’s oversight hearing on telemarketing fraud. The Committee wants to fight telemarketers who target vulnerable senior citizens, so they’re going to ask the FTC to take center stage and explain its implementation of the Do-Not-Call list and the Credit Reporting Organizations Act (CROA.)
Join us at 10 am as we liveblog the progress of the Senate Commerce Committee’s China-bashing posse. Though common sense, and a report from the New York Times, shows that the U.S. imports tainted goods from several countries, the committee, and its smorgasbord of panelists, will only discuss the problems plaguing goods from China.