House & Senate Heat Up Battle To Overturn FCC Ruling
More progress has been made in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to stop the Federal Communications Commission’s June ruling to loosen media regulations from taking effect.
House of Representatives
The House passed an appropriations bill containing a block on FCC spending to implement the new changes in an overwhelming 400-21 vote on Wednesday, July 23, 2003. A bipartisan coalition supported the addendum to the bill that funds the Commerce, State & Justice Departments, including the FCC. The stop will remain in place for one year, but the White House has threatened to veto.
On the same day as the House vote, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on Pubic Interest and Localism.
In another move, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced he will put his “resolution of disapproval” on the list for a vote during the first week of September when Congress returns from its summer recess. The little known measure would cancel out the FCC’s rulings to loosen ownership caps and other media regulations. A bi-partisan group of 20 senators are co-sponsoring Dorgan’s resolution, including Trent Lott (R-MISS) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC). Dorgan says he is confident he has the votes to roll back “one of the most complete cave-ins to corporate interests I’ve ever seen by what is supposed to be a federal regulatory agency.”