Legislative veto, take two


There was a discussion late Tuesday between Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and
Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) on scheduling Senate floor debate on Dorgan's legislative
veto of the Federal Communications Commission's new, though currently stayed,
ownership rules.

The upshot, according to Dorgan's office, is that Frist thought debate would
begin either Thursday or Friday, with a vote Monday, Sept. 15. That is no more
guaranteed than word last week that the debate would begin this past Monday, but
this timing is said to be OK with Dorgan.

The veto, sponsored by Dorgan, would roll back all of the FCC rule changes
enacted June 2, which included allowing newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership,
ownership of more stations in a market and an increased national ownership cap,
as well as some tightening of radio rules.

To nullify the FCC’s June 2 rule relaxation, the rarely used maneuver would
also have to pass the House and be signed by President Bush. Neither of those
outcomes appears likely.

Although the veto is said to stand a good chance of Senate passage, House
leaders are not expected to bring the measure to a vote on their side of Capitol