WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) reacted with indignation to President Obama’s announcement that he issued an executive order effectively requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve proposed rules mandating outdated technical requirements on cable and satellite set-top boxes. President Obama’s abuse of power has already become legendary, but issuing an executive order during an open comment period for rulemaking at an independent agency will be prominently displayed in the “Executive Overreach Hall of Shame.”
The executive order comes one week before the April 22, 2016 end of the comment period for the AllVid notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). By issuing the order, President Obama is directly interfering with the internal workings of an agency that is supposed to make decisions independently of either Congress or the White House. He is also effectively stifling the First Amendment right to petition the government by predetermining the outcome of the NPRM and telling the FCC to ignore any negative public comments on the proposed rule.
By telling independent agencies they are “strongly encouraged to comply” with the executive order, President Obama is giving the FCC the green light to move ahead and dictate technical standards on set-top boxes, and release proprietary information regarding software, programming, guides, and video guides to third-party box manufacturers. Such mandates are ill-advised because most cable providers are moving away from the use of these boxes, and implementing software applications that can be used on any device, at any time, in any location.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “President Obama apparently has decided that his previous effort to interfere with the decision-making process at the FCC, when he pushed the commissioners behind closed doors to impose Title II Net Neutrality rules on the Internet, was too subtle. This time he used his absolute power to make it absolutely clear that they should absolutely do what he wants. President Obama should reconsider his decision on this matter, withdraw the order, and allow the process to move forward independently under the FCC’s regular process. It is time for him to start listening to taxpayers instead of treating them like subjects in a kingdom.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.