47 U.S. Code § 154 - Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission (in this chapter referred to as the “Commission”) shall be composed of five commissioners appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, one of whom the President shall designate as chairman.
commissioners  shall be appointed for terms of five years and until their successors are appointed and have been confirmed and taken the oath of office, except that they shall not continue to serve beyond the expiration of the next session of Congress subsequent to the expiration of said fixed term of office; except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the commissioner whom he succeeds. No vacancy in the Commission shall impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Commission.
Each Commissioner shall receive an annual salary at the annual rate payable from time to time for level IV of the Executive Schedule, payable in monthly installments. The Chairman of the Commission, during the period of his service as Chairman, shall receive an annual salary at the annual rate payable from time to time for level III of the Executive Schedule.
The principal office of the Commission shall be in the District of Columbia, where its general sessions shall be held; but whenever the convenience of the public or of the parties may be promoted or delay or expense prevented thereby, the Commission may hold special sessions in any part of the United States.
Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum thereof. The Commission shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.
The Commission may perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.
The Commission may conduct its proceedings in such manner as will best conduce to the proper dispatch of business and to the ends of justice. No commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has a pecuniary interest. Any party may appear before the Commission and be heard in person or by attorney. Every vote and official act of the Commission shall be entered of record, and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of any party interested. The Commission is authorized to withhold publication of records or proceedings containing secret information affecting the national defense.
All reports of investigations made by the Commission shall be entered of record, and a copy thereof shall be furnished to the party who may have complained, and to any common carrier or licensee that may have been complained of.
The Commission shall provide for the publication of its reports and decisions in such form and manner as may be best adapted for public information and use, and such authorized publications shall be competent evidence of the reports and decisions of the Commission therein contained in all courts of the United States and of the several States without any further proof or authentication thereof.
Rates of compensation of persons appointed under this section shall be subject to the reduction applicable to officers and employees of the Federal Government generally.
For the purpose of obtaining maximum effectiveness from the use of radio and wire communications in connection with safety of life and property, the Commission shall investigate and study all phases of the problem and the best methods of obtaining the cooperation and coordination of these systems.
 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.
Level III and level IV of the Executive Schedule, referred to in subsec. (d), are set out in sections 5314 and 5315, respectively, of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Part II of subchapter III of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), is classified to section 351 et seq. of this title.
Provisions of part III of title 5, referred to in subsec. (f)(4)(E), are classified to section 2101 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
In subsec. (f)(1), (2) “chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5” substituted for “the Classification of 1949” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, § 7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
In subsec. (f)(4)(E), “section 1342 of title 31” substituted for “section 3679(b) of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 665(b))” on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.
1996—Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(b), inserted before period at end “: and Provided further, That, in the alternative, an entity designated by the Commission may make the inspections referred to in this paragraph”.
Subsec. (f)(4)(A). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(1), in first sentence, inserted “or administering” after “for purposes of preparing”, “of” after “than the class”, and “or administered” after “being prepared”.
Subsec. (f)(4)(B). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(2), (5), redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “The Commission, for purposes of administering any examination for an amateur station operator license, may accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of any individual who holds an amateur station operator license of a higher class than the class license for which the examination is being conducted. In the case of examinations for the highest class of amateur station operator license, the Commission may accept and employ such services of any individual who holds such class of license. Any person who owns a significant interest in, or is an employee of, any company or other entity which is engaged in the manufacture or distribution of equipment used in connection with amateur radio transmissions, or in the preparation or distribution of any publication used in preparation for obtaining amateur station operator licenses, shall not be eligible to render any service under this subparagraph.”
Subsec. (f)(4)(C) to (G). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(5), redesignated subpars. (D) to (H) as (C) to (G), respectively. Former subpar. (C) redesignated (B).
Subsec. (f)(4)(H). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(5), redesignated subpar. (I) as (H). Former subpar. (H) redesignated (G).
Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(3), substituted “subparagraphs (A) and (B)” for “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C)”.
Subsec. (f)(4)(I). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(5), redesignated subpar. (J) as (I). Former subpar. (I) redesignated (H).
Subsec. (f)(4)(J). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(a)(4), (5), redesignated subpar. (J) as (I) and substituted “subparagraph (A) of this paragraph” for “subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph” and struck out last sentence which read as follows: “The total amount of allowable cost reimbursement per examinee shall not exceed $4, adjusted annually every January 1 for changes in the Department of Labor Consumer Price Index.”
1995—Subsec. (f)(4)(J). Pub. L. 104–66 struck out at end “Such individuals and organizations shall maintain records of out-of-pocket expenditures and shall certify annually to the Commission that all costs for which reimbursement was obtained were necessarily and prudently incurred.”
1994—Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “overtime extends beyond” for “overtime exceeds beyond”.
1992—Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 102–538, § 201, substituted “1994” for “1992”.
Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 102–538, § 208, added par. (3).
1990—Subsec. (f)(5). Pub. L. 101–396, § 3, added par. (5).
Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 101–396, § 4, substituted “1992” for “1989”.
1988—Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 100–594 substituted “1989” for “1987”.
1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–334 substituted “five years” for “seven years”.
Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 99–272, § 5002(b)(1), substituted “1987” for “1985”.
Subsec. (g)(2)(E). Pub. L. 99–272, § 5002(b)(2), added subpar. (E).
1983—Subsec. (f)(4)(E) to (I). Pub. L. 98–214, § 10, added subpar. (E) and redesignated existing subpars. (E) to (H) as (F) to (I), respectively.
Subsec. (f)(4)(J). Pub. L. 98–214, § 11, added subpar. (J).
1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–253, § 501(b)(1), substituted “five” for “seven”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–259, § 102, amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Each member of the Commission shall be a citizen of the United States. No member of the Commission or person in its employ shall be financially interested in the manufacture or sale of radio apparatus or of apparatus for wire or radio communication; in communication by wire or radio or in radio transmission of energy; in any company furnishing services or such apparatus to any company engaged in communication by wire or radio or to any company manufacturing or selling apparatus used for communication by wire or radio; or in any company owning stocks, bonds, or other securities of any such company; nor be in the employ of or hold any official relation to any person subject to any of the provisions of this chapter, nor own stocks, bonds, or other securities of any corporation subject to any of the provisions of this chapter. Such commissioners shall not engage in any other business, vocation, profession, or employment. Any such commissioner serving as such after one year from July 16, 1952, shall not for a period of one year following the termination of his services as a commissioner represent any person before the Commission in a professional capacity, except that this restriction shall not apply to any commissioner who has served the full term for which he was appointed. Not more than four members of the Commission shall be members of the same political party.”
Pub. L. 97–253, § 501(b)(2), amended last sentence of subsec. (b), prior to the general amendment by Pub. L. 97–259, by substituting language identical to that contained in par. (5), as added by Pub. L. 97–259.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(a), struck out “The” before “commissioners” at beginning of subsection, immediately thereafter struck out “first appointed under this chapter shall continue in office for the terms of one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this chapter, the term of each to be designated by the President, but their successors”, and substituted “been confirmed and taken the oath of office” for “qualified”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(b), amended subsec. (d) generally, relating to the annual salary rate for the Chairman and Commissioners.
Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(c), substituted “three professional assistants” for “a legal assistant, an engineering assistant,”.
Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 97–259, § 104, added par. (4).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(d), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 97–253, § 501(b)(3), substituted “Three” for “Four”.
Subsec. (k)(2). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(e), struck out proviso after “its staff and equipment”, relating to the content of first and second annual reports after the enactment of the Communications Act Amendments of 1952.
Subsec. (k)(3). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(f), redesignated par. (4) as (3).
Subsec. (k)(4), (5). Pub. L. 97–259, § 103(f), (g), redesignated par. (5) as (4) and substituted “Office of Management and Budget” for “Bureau of the Budget”. Former par. (4) redesignated (3).
1960—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–752 struck out provision that permitted commissioners to accept “reasonable honorarium or compensation” for “the presentation or delivery of publications or papers”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–619 provided for continuation in office of the commissioners upon termination of their term until their successors are appointed and have qualified, not beyond expiration of next session of Congress subsequent to the expiration of said fixed term of office.
Subsec. (k)(3). Pub. L. 86–533 repealed par. (3) which required the report to contain information with respect to all persons taken into the employment of the Commission during the preceding year, together with the names of those persons who left the employ of the Commission during the year.
1954—Subsec. (f)(3). Act Aug. 13, 1954, substituted “engineers” for “inspectors” and “Field Engineering and Monitoring Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission” for “Field Division of the Engineering Department of the Federal Communications Commission” and extended provisions to include inspections required pursuant to the Great Lakes Agreement.
1952—Subsec. (b). Act July 16, 1952, § 3(a), prohibited commissioners from engaging in any other work except that they may present or deliver papers for an honorarium, and prohibited any commissioner from appearing before the Commission in a professional capacity for 1 year after termination of his services except that this prohibition would not apply where commissioner has completed his full term.
Subsec. (f). Act July 16, 1952, § 3(b), authorized Commission to appoint employees, allowed each commissioner to appoint a legal assistant, and a secretary, and allowed the Chairman to appoint an administrative assistant.
Subsec. (g). Act July 16, 1952, § 3(c), authorized Commission to acquire land for monitoring stations and related facilities.
Subsec. (k). Act July 16, 1952, § 3(d), required Commission to make more detailed reports to Congress.
1941—Subsec. (f). Act Mar. 23, 1941, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
1937—Subsec. (k). Act May 20, 1937, inserted provisions that the Commission report to Congress annually at the beginning session of the Congress whether new wire or radio communication legislation is necessary and make specific recommendations thereof to Congress.
Subsec. (o). Act May 20, 1937, added subsec. (o).
1936—Subsec. (f). Act Jan. 22, 1936, inserted references to a chief accountant and three assistants.
Amendment by act Aug. 13, 1954, effective Nov. 13, 1954, see section 6 of act Aug. 13, 1954, set out as an Effective Date note under section 507 of this title.
For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsecs. (g)(2)(C) and (k) of this section relating to requirements to submit regular periodic reports to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and the 5th and 9th items on page 167 of House Document No. 103–7.
All offices of collector of customs, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), in Bureau of Customs of Department of the Treasury to which appointments were required to be made by President with advice and consent of Senate ordered abolished with such offices to be terminated not later than Dec. 31, 1966, by Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1965, eff. May 25, 1965, 30 F.R. 7035,79 Stat. 1317, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. All functions of offices eliminated were already vested in Secretary of the Treasury by Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935,64 Stat. 1280, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.
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