Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 5:46am
MARTIN TO MEET PRIVATELY WITH HOUSE GOP PANELISTS
[SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted Hearn]
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is scheduled to meet privately with just GOP members of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee two days before he and other FCC commissioners are to testify in public before the Democratic-controlled panel. Chairman Martinâ€™s session with the group of House Republicans was contained in a Feb. 6 memo sent by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to his party colleagues on the panel. The memo invited the lawmakers to meet with Chairman Martin Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building without staff. Chairman Martin has been meeting with House Democrats separately, and he agreed to meet with House Republicans as a group at their request. A House Democratic staff member with long tenure, however, couldn't recall a similar meeting involving an FCC chairman and just one party from a committee. â€œChairman Martin meets with members of Congress on both sides of aisle all of the time,â€ FCC spokeswoman Tamara Lipper said. "Chairman Dingell is also planning a Members' meeting with Chairman Martin," said Jodi Seth, communications director of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. "It's called an oversight hearing, and it's open to the public."
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Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., requested the advance meeting for Tuesday. An aide described the proposed get-together as an attempt to update Republicans, some of whom are new to the panel. "It has been a few months since Chairman Martin last visited the House. Congressman Upton wanted to provide his members an opportunity to catch up with the chairman and have an open discussion on the issues of most concern to their constituents," said Sean Bonyun, an Upton aide. "We hope to have similar opportunities with the other Commissioners in the weeks and months ahead." The meeting may also be intended to strategize about an expected barrage from Democrats who have been upset with the FCC's direction on media ownership during Thursday's telecom panel appearance, the first visit of FCC commissioners since Democrats took charge.
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