FCC Probe Unlikely to 'Amount to Much’

6/06/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

The top House Republican on the subcommittee investigating the Federal Communications Commission said it is unlikely the probe will uncover wrongdoing by Republican chairman Kevin Martin.

“I don’t think it will amount to a lot. I think it will allow us to become better educated. It will help us understand what the FCC does and doesn’t do,” Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said in a C-SPAN interview that was to air Saturday evening but Multichannel News previewed on Thursday.

Shimkus is the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. He assumed that post a month after Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) notified Martin of the investigation.

Shimkus, interviewed on the C-SPAN series The Communicators, said he supported Dingell’s investigation, noting it had bipartisan support from the beginning.

“I don’t think it’s harmful. It’s doing the job we’re supposed to do as the legislative branch versus the executive branch,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you find a crook.”

Shimkus was unsure whether the subcommittee would conduct a hearing with FCC witnesses.

“We were expecting to have an oversight hearing at some time, but one hasn’t been called. I don’t think there’s one on the schedule,” he said. In April, Dingell’s staff sent him a memo recommending a June hearing.

Shimkus said the FCC has been cooperative with the subcommittee.