House E&C: Grassley Gets LightSquared Documents

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The House Energy & Commerce Committee Friday turned over LightSquared-related documents to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), according to the committee.

"We actually shared documents today," said a committee spokesperson. "We are continuing to work together, and we will have additional updates to share as we assess the information that has been delivered and what additional documents are needed for our investigations."

Grassley has said that if he got the documents from the Federal Communications Commission, whether directly or through the request from The House E&C, he would consider lifting his hold on FCC nominees Ajit Paui and Jessica Rosenworcel, who sailed through their Senate Commerce Committee nomination hearing last fall with bipartisan support and are expected to be confirmed by the full Senate if/when they get to a vote.

Grassley said in a statement in February that his hold would remain in place "until I receive access to the documents I requested, whether that's from the FCC, the House Energy and Commerce Committee or the Senate Commerce Committee."

"We did get documents," said a Grassley spokesperson. "The hold stands pending document review."

FCC officials have said they did not accede to Grassley's requests for documents because the senator is not the chairman of a relevant oversight committee. But Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is. He asked for the documents, and was given them last week.

Republicans are concerned that the FCC granted LightSquared a waiver in haste and its backers are repenting in leisure after the FCC concluded after months of testing and vocal complaints from the GPS industry and government agencies that the planned wholesale wireless broadband service--in which those backers invested billions -- would interfere with GPS. But the FCC's waiver was always conditioned on the service not interfering with GPS, the FCC has pointed out, as it somewhat reluctantly moved to rescind the waiver. Reluctantly, because the commission is all for creating new price and service competition to incumbents Verizon and AT&T.

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