Reps urge leader to keep PRA off the floor


22 House Democrats, concerned about the possible deleterious effects of the Performance Rights Act on local radio in their communities, have asked House leadership to keep the bill off the floor. At the very least, they argue, the matter needs further study. And two more signed on to the Local Radio Freedom Act.

“At this time, Congress lacks adequate information on the overall impact that this legislation could have on local radio broadcasters and the potential disadvantages to our local communities that depend on radio to create jobs and bring residents their local news, emergency information, weather, and information on the activities of their elected governments,” the group wrote.

Continuing, they said, “We are further concerned by the assertions that this bill will unfairly divert money from our local communities and direct those funds primarily to large record labels. Accordingly, we urge you to refrain from moving H.R. 848 to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives until such time as the impact of this legislation can be fully examined.”

The letter was addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC)  and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT).

The letter campaign was led by Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Charlie Wilson (D-OH). Also signing on were Parker Griffith (D-AL), Marion Berry (D-AR), Mike Ross (D-AR), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Allen Boyd (D-FL), John Barrow (D-GA), Walter Minnick (D-ID), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Dennis Moore (D-KS), Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Travis Childers (D-MS), Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Zack Space (D-OH), Dan Boren (D-OK), Tim Holden (D-PA), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Chet Edwards (D-TX) and Jim Matheson (D-UT).

New co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act, a include Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), bringing the total in the House to 246. 23 senators are also supporting the measure.

RBR/TVBR observation: Not only has Congress failed to fully study the balance between the radio and recording businesses and the ramifications of the radical change PRA would bring about. It has also failed to take even the tiniest peek at the toxic relationship between artists and labels. It’s mind-boggling that so many are ready to plunge ahead without making any attempt to first get the full story straight.