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House Passes Bill to Increase Indecency Fines

House Passes Bill to Increase Indecency Fines

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a broadcast indecency measure by a 391-22 vote. Another measure is moving through on the Senate side but has yet to be voted on by that chamber.
The House measure raises the penalty for a broadcast indecency violation to $500,000 and includes a provision for on-air staff to be liable for penalties if they utter indecent/obscene language on the air.
There are significant differences in the House and Senate measures to raise fines on broadcasters who violate the FCC’s indecency provisions. The Senate Commerce Committee recently voted out its version to the full Senate; now the upper chamber must decide whether to vote on its version, or the House version, or try to meld the two in conference committee.
New chairman of the House Commerce Committee, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, praised the House passage of the bill and said he looked forward to “expedient” Senate action and having the bill on the president’s desk as soon as possible.