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John Joyce joined us for a conversation on the FCC’s spectrum authority

John Joyce on Mike Johnson, 5G and Ukraine

Rep. John Joyce (R-Pa.) on Thursday joined us for a conversation on the FCC’s spectrum authority, Speaker Mike Johnson’s future and the foreign aid bill.

Here are our top takeaways:

Ukraine funding: Joyce, who previously voted against Ukraine aid, voiced support for Johnson as the speaker faces increased criticism from his far-right flank.

“I feel that Speaker Johnson has stepped into a difficult situation and done an incredibly, incredibly successful job,” Joyce said. “I think that Speaker Johnson will be successful and will continue to lead this conference.”

Joyce demurred when we asked him if he would support the stand-alone Ukraine bill. The Pennsylvania Republican instead praised Johnson for allowing an open amendment process on the package.

Motion to vacate: Joyce said he supported a proposed effort to raise the threshold of members required to trigger a motion to vacate. Johnson has now backed off that idea, for what it’s worth.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) recent introduction of a motion to vacate resolution aimed at Johnson has angered Republicans who are already weary after the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“I think having that challenge, that threat always hanging over you makes it difficult to lead,” Joyce said. “I think that increasing that threshold would be something I can clearly get behind.”

Spectrum: Joyce said that Congress needs to “make sure that America takes the lead in 5G.”

Joyce said China is taking advantage of the United States’ current spectrum situation. Through his work on the House GOP China Task Force, Joyce said he realized the FCC’s limited spectrum authority is hurting America’s national security.

“China wants to eat your lunch, but they want your dinner and they want your milk money too,” Joyce added.

Following the conversation with Joyce’s insights, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker joined us for a fireside chat on how Congress could act on spectrum authority.

Baker praised Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Thune (R-S.D.) for introducing a bill that would expand access to commercial spectrum.

Baker said the legislation was “a really great starting place because now we have something that is real, that is the gold standard of what this industry needs.”

Baker added that spectrum is important for America’s national security and warned that China is outpacing the United States in auctioning off new spectrum.

— Max Cohen

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