Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said Monday that he plans to take the first step toward a "legislative veto" of the FCC's new broadcast-ownership rules as early as Wednesday.
Dorgan said he expects the FCC to publish the new rules in the Federal
Register this week and he plans to introduce his legislation immediately after.
Following introduction, the Senate Commerce Committee will have 20 days to
vote on his measure.
If the committee has not acted by then, a vote on the Senate floor can be
forced by a petition signed by 30 senators.
Dorgan has joined other members of the committee passing a separate measure
that would return the national TV-ownership cap to 35% of television households
and reinstate the ban on same-market broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership.
Because that measure is likely to be blocked by House Commerce Committee
chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) if it reaches the other side of Capitol Hill, opponents of
media deregulation are trying alternatives that would bypass his jurisdiction.
Also being contemplated is an attachment to appropriations legislation
sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Stevens’ approach is given the best odds because he leads the
appropriations process and appropriations are "must-pass" legislation.