Senate Likely to Vote on Own Smut Bill

Author:
Publish date:

Despite a raft of controversial amendments, the Senate is likely to vote on its own anti-indecency legislation rather than on a simpler House version likely to draw less opposition, a congressional aide predicted Monday.

Senators want to have a chance to debate and pass a tougher bill that contains potential new restrictions on TV violence and media ownership, said Lee Carosi, an aide to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain. "This is what members want," she said following a Media Institute luncheon. "This is the kind of thing that gets them elected."

Two weeks ago, McCain's panel passed legislation that would boost indecency fines to $500,000 per incident and make performers and broadcast networks, not just stations, liable for sanctions for their first violation.

The bill also would block implementation of the FCC's June 2 ownership relaxation. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist must decide whether to call for a vote on the Senate version or another already passed by the House that would raise fines to the same $500,000 level but does not include measures on TV violence and media ownership.

The House Telecommunications Subcommittee fought to keep his version free of those side issues for fear they would draw enough opposition to prevent passage. A congressional aide speculated that the Senate will approve its more controversial version but acquiesce if the violence and ownership passages are removed when their leaders meet with House negotiators to resolve differences in the two bills.

Related