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NAB Welcomes Capitol Hill Backup on Fees

Rep. Emmer and 93 other members of Congress ask the FCC to explain

The NAB is welcoming words of support from congressional allies of both parties in its fight against higher FCC regulatory fees.

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota is co-founder and chair of the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus. He sent a letter to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel with the signatures of 93 fellow legislators.

He told Rosenworcel that the pending fee increase “is appalling and out-of-step with regulatory costs for any other industry under the FCC’s jurisdiction.” The letter asks Rosenworcel to explain the benefits and to justify why broadcasters will see a higher rate of increase than other sectors.

It said the hikes will erode strained station budgets and that “the American people will be forced to pay the price with decreased access to trusted local news and information services.” 

Emmer’s letter echoed NAB’s arguments that the commission is forcing broadcasters to bear heavy costs to subsidize large tech companies that benefit from the FCC’s work. (Read the letter.)

NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt thanked Emmer and his colleagues “for their bipartisan leadership in working to right-size the FCC’s fees so that broadcasters are not paying more than our share at the expense of the unparalleled free and local service we provide.”

The FCC plan would increase broadcasters’ fees by 13%, which the NAB says works out to about $7.3 million. “The planned rate increase on broadcasters amounts to nearly the entire $7.95 million expansion of the FCC’s budget.”

[Related: “NAB Invests Face Time Fighting FCC Fee Methodology“]