Remarks by Representative Jack Fields (R-Texas)
Recognizing Jim Quello's Common Sense
Regarding the Children's Television Act.

(July 25, 1996, in the House of Representatives)

Mr. Speaker, once again, Federal Communications Commissioner Jim Quello has injected a healthy dose of common sense and sound judgment to a Federal agency badly in need of both.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece yesterday, Commissioner Quello argued eloquently for flexibility as the FCC works to approve guidelines implementing the Children's Television Act.

The act--passed by Congress 6 years ago--seeks to increase both the quantity and the quality of children's television programming. Those of us who worked to pass the Children's Television Act sought to establish a simple, flexible yardstick by which broadcasters' compliance with the act could be measured.

But, as Commissioner Quello points out in his excellent op-ed piece, proposed regulations implementing the act--regulations that are circulating at the FCC--now exceeds 100 pages. Disturbingly, reports suggested that as the number of pages has increased, the guidelines have turned into regulations, and flexibility has been replaced by rigidity and inflexibility. I say reportedly, because no one on Capitol Hill has yet been provided a copy of the proposed regulations.

I wish to thank Commissioner Quello for his many years of distinguished service at the FCC, as well as commend him on an excellent op-ed piece. I also want to make clear that I share his position with regard to guidelines implementing the Children's Television Act, and I pledge to work with him to reduce the regulatory overkill that has been--and remains--the hallmark of so much of what the FCC does.

I commend Commissioner Quello's op-ed piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal to your attention, Mr. Speaker, and to the attention of my colleagues.

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