Local Radio Freedom Act Bumps Up Capitol Hill Backers

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With two pieces of legislation circulating Capitol Hill that, if passed into law, would impose new royalty fees on AM and FM radio stations across the U.S., opposing legislation designed to prevent such a law continues to gain steam in both the House and Senate.


As of midday Monday (5/1), nine more House Members and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) have added their support to the “Local Radio Freedom Act.

The LRFA, introduced in both the House (H. Con. Res. 13) and Senate (S. Con. Res. 6), is a bipartisan resolution that opposes “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations. The LRFA now has 177 co-sponsors in the House, and 22 in the Senate.

Adding their support for the Act in the House are Reps. Don Bacon (NE-2), Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Dan Donovan (NY-11), John Faso (NY-19), Vicente Gonzalaz (TX-15), Jason Lewis (MN-2), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and Pete Sessions (TX-32). 

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) are the principal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 13) in the House of Representatives. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a companion resolution in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 6).

Language in both pieces of legislation states, “Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air.”

Among those in the Senate supporting the LRFA is Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense. He also serves on the Senate Subcommittee of Homeland Security, and his involvement on this subcommittee may heighten Cochran’s interest in the preservation of “local radio freedom,” given the importance of AM and FM broadcasters in a time of emergency.

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