House Launches FCC-Blocking Effort

Inslee-Led Bill Mirrors Similar Move by Dorgan

A House version of a Federal Communications Commission-blocking legislative maneuver was introduced.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) already introduced his version, with high-profile backers including Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Like Dorgan's effort, the House version is a "resolution of disapproval" that would prevent the implementation of the FCC's Dec. 18 decision loosening the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban to allow combinations in the top 20 markets, subject to some conditions. "“We need to use every tool available to prevent further weakening of media-ownership rules," said chief sponsor Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).

Co-sponsors so far are reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

Dorgan attempted a similar blocking bill when the FCC passed more deregulatory rules back in 2003, but that effort was stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate and eventually mooted by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals' stay and remand of the rules.