H.R. 3675, Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2013

Cost Estimate
January 29, 2014

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on December 10, 2013

H.R. 3675 would make a number of changes to procedures that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) follows in its rulemaking processes. The bill also would require the FCC to create a public database of information about complaints made by consumers of telecommunications services. Finally, the bill would permanently exempt the Universal Service Fund (USF) from provisions of the Antideficiency Act.

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3675 would increase direct spending by $197 million over the 2014-2023 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 3675 would not affect revenues.

Further, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3675 to amend the FCC’s operating procedures would cost $15 million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts; however, the FCC is authorized to collect fees sufficient to offset the cost of its regulatory activities each year. Therefore, CBO estimates that the net cost to implement those provisions of H.R. 3675 would not be significant, assuming annual appropriation actions consistent with the agency’s authorities.

H.R. 3675 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

To the extent that the FCC would increase annual fee collections to offset the costs of implementing its additional regulatory activities, the bill would impose a private-sector mandate on some commercial entities regulated by the FCC. Based on information from the FCC, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would be small, and fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($152 million in 2014, adjusted annually for inflation).