Sen. Bennett, Rep. Stupak Discuss Radio Issues At NAB/RAB Radio Show
September 29, 2010 at 7:09 AM (PT)
Outgoing Sen. BOB BENNETT (R-UT) opened the NAB/RAB RADIO SHOW with his perspective on issues affecting radio in Congress this year, telling the audience that he does not expect action on performance royalties in this Congress. He cited Democrats' eagerness to "get out of town" as early as TODAY in predicting that the royalty issue will be left for the lame-duck session after the elections; asked about talks over the issue, he responded, "you're assuming that there ARE talks." BENNETT added that he does not think there is a possibility of a compromise bill being agreed upon in the lame-duck session.
On other issues, BENNETT called the "DISCLOSE Act" an effort by Democrats "to protect unions ... and shut down anybody connected to a corporation on the assumption that every corporation is evil." He called the appropriations process "broken down" and warned that if a lame-duck session occurs and NANCY PELOSI and HARRY REID are in conflict with their own party's Senators and Congressmen, "things could get ugly." (NAB Pres. CEO GORDON SMITH joked that "Ugly is good for our purposes") On health care, he said that he thinks Democrats are realizing that "they passed a disaster" of a bill and are now open to alterations, but warned that if the Republicans choose to try instead to simply repeal the law, it would result in gridlock because the issue needs to be addressed. He said that the law as it stands would bankrupt every state due to Medicaid costs but noted that some in the WHITE HOUSE are recognizing the issue and are open to discussing changes.
BENNETT, ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Senate Appropriations Committee, lost his bid to be nominated by the Republicans for a fourth term this MAY, finishing third in the second round of balloting. Responding to an audience member's comment that Utahns had made a mistake by not renominating BENNETT, the Senator responded, "I'm going to have a lot more fun and make a lot more money" after leaving.
Retiring Rep. BART STUPAK (D-MI) joined the panel late and called the proposed imposition of performance royalties on radio "a mistake" ("I don't think we need to have a performance tax"). He also called putting FM radio chips in cell phones "a great idea" ("It makes so much sense. People want more choices"), saying he hopes that the issue can be worked out without legislation, and touted that the present Democratic Congress and administration had finally "got(ten) things done" rather than continually leaving issues for later Congresses to handle. STUPAK disagreed with BENNETT that the health care law's effect on Medicaid would bankrupt the states, insisting that the new law would instead lessen the burden on states.