Hill 'Drops' Four Bills on DTV


According to a May 27 DTV status report prepared for legislators by the Congressional Research Service, four DTV-related bills have been dropped in the latest session of Congress. (Somewhat counter-intuitively, "dropping a bill" in Hill parlance means introducing it, not scrapping it.)

That total does not include the Digital Television Act of 2005, House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton's DTV deadline bill, which is currently only in draft form.

DTV bills that have been introduced:

  • Homeland Emergency Operations Response Act (HR 1646), introduced by Jane Harmon (D-Calif.), which requires the 700 MHZ spectrum used by TV broadcasters to be turned over to public safety purposes by Jan. 1, 2007.
  • TV Consumer Choice Act (HR 2354), introduced by James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), which "prohibits the FCC from requiring digital tuners in TV sets."
  • Digital Television Accountability and Governance Act (HR 2359), introduced by Diane Watson (D-Calif.), which establishes "minimum public interest requirements for multicast TV channels."
  • Indecent and Gratuitous and Excessively Violent Programming and Control Act (S. 616), introduced by Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), which would boost educational and informational programming on broadcasters' multicast channels.

The Harmon and Sensenbrenner bills are reintroductions of bills that didn't make it in the last Congress.