Tauzin, Upton: Stay out of media-ownership fight


Two leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are asking their
counterparts on the House Appropriations Committee to fend off attempts to use
Wednesday’s vote on Federal Communications Commission funding as a back-door way to
tighten broadcast regulations.

"In the past, the Committee on Appropriations has respected the purview of
the Committee of the Energy and Commerce, and we request that you do so once
again," wrote Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Telecommunications
Subcommittee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in a July 8 letter to Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.),
Appropriations Committee chairman, and other panel leaders. "For Congress to
attempt to unravel these rules in the appropriations process -- as some of our
colleagues are want to do -- would be a dreadful mistake and a wretched
jurisdictional precedent."

Tauzin and Upton oppose efforts by ranking Commerce Committee Democrat John
Dingell (Michigan) and some others to reinstate the 35% cap on TV-household reach and other
rules, and they are irked that some lawmakers have vowed to attach amendments to
appropriations legislation as way to make an end run around them.