6:30: Zero Hour for Indecency Bill

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C-Span reported yesterday that the House was scheduled to take up the broadcast decency bill at 6:30 Tuesday night.

A vote could come either Tuesday night or, more likely, Wednesday. That vote will raise the indecency fines from a maximum of $32,500 to $325,000, up to a $3 million cap per incident.

The bill is an official response, after more than two years, of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime reveal, with an assist from a Bono f-word on an awards show.

The cable industry is pleased the bill does not target cable, while broadcasters are relieved it does not threaten station licenses for repeated violations. Unions are celebrating the absence of fine boosts for performers.

All those elements were either considered during debate on the indecency issue or made it into a House version of an indecency bill that passed that body before losing steam and gaining opponents.

Once the bill passes, as it is almost certain to do, the President has a couple of weeks to sign it. The White House had not returned a call at press time on how quickly the President planned to put pen to paper.

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