In December 2009, the “FCC Commissioners Technical Resource Act” (Senate bill 2881) was introduced. The bill was introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and was in direct agreement with one of the SBE’s legislative goals: “To promote the maintenance or increase of technical expertise within the FCC to ensure that decision making by the FCC is based on technical investigation, studies and evaluation rather than political expenditures.”
In mid-March, Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to S.2881, which would authorize an engineering staff person for each of the five FCC commissioners. With a House bill now introduced, the legislation can move through the committee process of both chambers of Congress.
McNerney’s introduction of the bill comes after representatives of the Society of Broadcast Engineers met with his legislative staff in Washington the week prior. SBE’s Government Relations Committee Chairman Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT, and General Counsel Chris Imlay visited offices of several members of the House to garner support for a companion to the Senate bill.
Now that the issue is in front of both houses of Congress, it’s time for broadcasters and broadcast engineers to speak up. Now is the time to contact your U.S. Representative and urge him or her to join Rep. McNerney as a co-sponsor or at least support HR.4809.
Contact information for U.S. Representatives: www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html
And also contact your U.S. Senators to urge their support for S.2881. Contact information for U.S. Senators: www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm