GAO finds controversial Ligado order not subject to Congressional Review Act

By Justin Doubleday / August 13, 2020 at 4:59 PM

The Government Accountability Office has ruled the Federal Communications Commission's order allowing Ligado to deploy a terrestrial network within the low band is not a rule subject to the Congressional Review Act, dealing a blow to opponents of the FCC's decision who argue the network will imperil GPS signals.

GAO's ruling announced today means lawmakers cannot use CRA procedures to overturn the commission's April order authorizing Ligado's terrestrial network.

Some members of Congress, including defense authorizers, have been vehemently opposed to the Ligado order, arguing the network will interfere with GPS signals. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) have led the charge against the rule.

Meanwhile, the Defense, Transportation and Commerce departments along with other federal agencies also oppose the rule over GPS concerns, and are pressing the FCC to reconsider its decision.