Commerce Committee Postpones VNR Hearings

Apr 26, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday postponed hearings on controversial legislation aimed at government-produced video news releases.

The hearings had been slated for Thursday morning, but, a Senate source said, Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., had not introduced their bill far enough in advance for lawmakers and hearing witnesses to adequately review it. Bills for hearings are supposed to be introduced at least 48 hours in advance of a session.

A spokesman for Sen. Lautenberg said the two Democrats planned to introduce their measure-which would require notifications disclosing sponsorship to run continuously whenever a government-sponsored VNR airs-Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Sen. Lautenberg’s spokesman said. “But we’re encouraged that [the hearings] were postponed and not canceled.” Melanie Alvord, a spokesperson for the committee, said the hearings may take place by early May.