Senate Committee Delays Vote on FCC Rules

Apr 2, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Senate Commerce Committee is delaying for several weeks its expected vote on overturning the Federal Communications Commission’s media-ownership rules changes.
The committee had been expected to vote today to support overturning the FCC rules change, which eases the way for newspapers and broadcasters in a given market to buy each other. The committee vote now is slated for April 24.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., had proposed the vote under rarely used procedures that allow Congress to overturn new rules adopted by government administrative agencies. Under those procedures, overturning the rules would require a vote by the Senate and the House, as well as a presidential signature.
Last night, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, in a letter to Senate Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, D-Alaska, said the likelihood of a presidential approval the rule isn’t great.
“The FCC order modernizes outdated media ownership regulations to appropriately take into account the plethora of news and information outlets that exist today,” Mr. Gutierrez wrote. If the legislation was presented to the president, “His senior advisers would recommend he veto the bill.”

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