U.S. Congressman Mike Pence joined Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon in introducing the Broadcaster Freedom Amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations Bill which would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ or proposed broadcast localism regulations during the next fiscal year. A Pence statement follows:
I am pleased to join Congressman Greg Walden, a tireless advocate of the Constitutional freedom of speech in authoring this amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations Bill. This amendment would prevent any funding to the FCC from being used to either reinstate the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ or enact proposed broadcast localism regulations during the next fiscal year.
The American people cherish freedom, especially freedom of speech and of the press. That was why President Reagan repealed the so-called Fairness Doctrine back in 1987. For more than four decades, the federal government actually regulated the content of American talk radio and the chilling effect of this regulation was undeniable.
Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine today would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airways.
Democrats from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Senators Dick Durbin, and John Kerry have called for the return of this kind of regulation to the airwaves of America, but thanks to the support of millions of freedom-loving Americans, we were able to mostly close the front door to this government censorship.
So now they are trying to sneak through the back door with regulations known as ‘broadcast localism.’ These regulations are just a Trojan Horse for unelected bureaucrats in Washington to determine what you can or cannot listen to.
In a time when we are witnessing an unprecedented intrusion of the federal government into various sectors, the last thing we need is a government takeover of America’s airwaves. It’s not what the American People want, and it’s not something this Congress should allow.
President John F. Kennedy once stated that ‘We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.’
America is a nation of freedom and strong opinion-our government must not be afraid to entrust the American people with all the facts and opinions necessary to make the choices as an informed electorate.
If the Walden-Pence Broadcaster Freedom Amendment is brought to the floor of this Congress, it will surely pass; because every time freedom gets an up-or-down vote in the People's House, freedom always wins.