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Senate Commerce Will Mark Up Smut Bill - Broadcasting & Cable

Senate Commerce Will Mark Up Smut Bill

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The Senate Commerce Committee plans Tuesday to mark up a Senate version of a get-tough indecency bill introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

The bill initially mirrored one introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in the House Commerce Committee, but the Upton bill that came out of the committee was loaded with extras, including a big fine for performers that raises serious Constitutional issues.

Commerce Chairman John McCain is said to favor a clean bill, but look for some amendments too.

The Brownback bill is expected to pass in committee, and on the Senate floor (another option would be for the Senate simply to adopt the Upton version).

The Upton bill is on the same track. If so, that means they will meet in conference to hammer out their differences and address some of the more problematic parts of the Upton bill.

Elsewhere on the Brownback indecency docket, Communications Director Brian Hart says it expects to get a letter from Viacom next week explaining its indecency policy and why it did not yank Howard Stern for a Feb. 24 broadcast that prompted Clear Channel to pull the show.

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