Senate Votes To Repeal New Media Rules
Opponents to the Federal Communications Commission’s June ruling to loosen media ownership rules won a victory in Congress on Tuesday, September 16, 2003, as the Senate voted 55-40 to overturn the agency’s new rules. The rarely used legislative veto in essence repealed the FCC’s deregulatory moves.
The motion to reverse the FCC’s new rules originated in a bi-partisan move by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) & Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). A diverse array of special interest groups from the National Rifle Association to Common Cause support the motion to reverse, including a coalition between Capitol Broadcasting Company and several other organizations.
The issue will now go to the House for debate, which should be contentious, and a vote. The White House has threatened to veto should the measure get that far.
The legislative veto returns the TV-ownership cap to 35% of television households and limits ownership of a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same market or up to three TV stations in the largest cities.