Industries regulated by the Federal Communications Commission would not be harmed unfairly if Congress passed a law requiring them to pay an extra $ 70 million for the entire cost of FCC regulation, chairman Reed Hundt said Monday.

Hundt’s remarks before a House appropriations subcommittee are sure to raise eyebrows among broadcasters and cable TV operators, who in the past have fought against the “user fee” concept as a means of bankrolling the FCC.

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) said that in 1995, industries regulated by the FCC are expected to pay about $ 95 million in user fees. When he asked if industries should “fully fund” the $ 167 million requested by the FCC, Hundt replied, “If Congress wished to move in that direction, it would not present any unreasonable burden on the regulated industries affected.”

Hundt said later he would like to hire 200 new employees beyond the 240 that will be added to the new cable services bureau. He said he would prefer salaries of the new employees to be paid by the regulated industries rather than taxpayers.

Broadcasting and cable lobbyists could not be reached to respond to Hundt’s comments.

Hundt faced gentle questioning on the subject of recent FCC cable rate regulations from Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.), whose state is home to large cable companies. Skaggs said he senses “a real yearning” on the part of cable execs to establish a better relationship with the FCC.

Hundt responded by saying the “doors are open” at the FCC. “No one at the commission thinks of anybody in the industry as bad,” he said. ]

Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) urged Hundt to take tough action against shock jock Howard Stern and his syndicator, Infinity Broadcasting. “It’s got to be steep enough so the publicity that surrounds it is not worth more than the price they pay,” advised Moran. “If we’re going to hit ’em, hit ’em hard and make it hurt.”