Fans of the FCC's online political file order have written
the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Financial Services
and General Government Subcommittee asking them not to try to block funding of
that new rule, as their House counterparts have done.
In a letter to the Hill Wednesday, Free Press, Common Cause,
the Sunlight Foundation and 16 other groups asked those senators to oppose an
FCC appropriations bill that would block implementation of the requirement that
TV stations send their political files, including spot prices, to the FCC for
online posting, likely beginning sometime late next month or August.
The House Appropriations Financial Services and General
Government Subcommittee last week passed its version of an FCC appropriations
bill last week with an amendment blocking implementation of the online
political file posting requirement.
According to Free Press senior policy counsel Corie Wright, that could get a
vote in the full Appropriations committee as early as next week.
Wright said the letter was not a response to a direct threat
by any senator to add such an amendment, adding: "It is a preemptive
effort to try to dissuade any member who may be considering it."
"The broadcast industry's efforts to block what is
otherwise a non-controversial, administrative procedure should be
rejected," the groups said in the letter. "We urge Committee Members
to oppose all efforts to place a rider on any appropriations measure that would
delay or weaken the FCC's common sense update of a regulation that moves
television stations' political files online."