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TV Cap Still Hangs Up Spending Bill

TV Cap Still Hangs Up Spending Bill

As of Monday, a provision to roll back the TV audience cap to 35% was still tacked onto a large end-of-year spending bill for several federal agencies. But the White House was still threatening a veto, Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, told Reuters. The disputed language would bar the FCC, for one year, from allowing TV networks to own local stations that collectively reach more than 35% of the national audience.
The new media ownership rules passed in June would raise that cap to 45%. Those rules are blocked while they are being challenged in federal court.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told the wire service a compromise of 40% might be reached.
The language does not affect radio. Of all the provisions that included radio in rollbacks of the new FCC rules, only the TV audience cap language made it into the spending package.
Senate leaders want to complete the bill by Tuesday, but the House decided instead to adjourn last week and return in early December to wrap it up.