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Senators Try to Block New Ownership Rules

Senators Try to Block New Ownership Rules

A group of bipartisan senators led by Commerce Committee member Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, has begun efforts to overturn the FCC’s new media ownership rules.
Dorgan, joined by Trent Lott, R-Miss., Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced a little-used “Resolution of Disapproval.” They say they have more than the required 30 signatures needed to force the full Senate to consider the measure quickly.
“We are moving to roll back one of the most complete cave-ins to corporate interests I’ve ever seen by what is supposed to be a regulatory agency,” said Dorgan of the FCC’s June 2 vote on media ownership. He predicted “an orgy” of further media consolidation if the new rules stand.
Dorgan hopes the Senate acts before the summer August recess. He does not believe Republicans can block the action. The measure faces strong opposition in the House.
The Senate Commerce Committee also has voted to the floor a measure to force radio groups over the local limits to make divestitures, roll back the TV audience cap back to 35% and limit cross-ownership, but its outlook is uncertain.