Report: Group Of Senators Holding Up LPFM Bill
October 22, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
The bill to allow more low power FMs by changing interference standards has stalled in the Senate, and POLITICO reports that a group of Republican senators are responsible for bottling the bill up. Senator JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY) has placed a hold on the bill, which would eliminate third-adjacent-channel protection for full-power stations to allow more LPFMs to be dropped in closer to major cities. Also involved in holding up the bill are Sen. TOM COBURN (R-OK), who moved to block the bill earlier this year, and Sen. MIKE ENZI (R-WY), who held it up over an exemption given to NEW JERSEY.
"It is unfortunate that even though the legislation has been worked on for the better part of four Congresses and has cleared the Senate Commerce Committee in each of the last four Congresses, there are those who choose to side with corporate special interests and use anonymous holds to block the progress this bill represents," said sponsor Sen. MARIA CANTWELL (D-WA). But NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said, "It's difficult to shoehorn hundreds of stations into an already crowded radio dial. You just can't give everyone a Social Security card and a radio station at birth and think that there's not going to be chaos on the airwaves ... Members of Congress know that radio is a lifeline service to their constituents in times of crisis ... and the role the radio plays in the community. That's why members of Congress are listening to our arguments and appreciate the importance of preventing interference on the airwaves."