U.S. Congressman Mike Pence released the following statement in response to the news that the Democrat-majority Rules Committee had rejected the ‘Broadcaster Freedom Amendment’ which would have prevented the Federal Communications Commission from reinstating the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ and enacting proposed broadcast localism regulations for the next fiscal year. All Democrats present voted against allowing the amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations Bill, which funds the FCC, on a final vote of 7-4. “The First Amendment is not a partisan issue. The preservation of freedom is the paramount duty of every elected Representative and should take precedence over partisan politics:
“Today Congress had an opportunity to allow the American people and their elected Representatives to ensure the freedom of the airwaves and today Congress said ‘no.’ “The Walden-Pence Broadcaster Freedom Amendment would have reassured all Americans that broadcast radio would remain free from government censorship for at least the next fiscal year.
“I am profoundly disappointed that Democrats on the Rules Committee rejected this straightforward amendment. Over 300 Members of this body supported broadcast freedom when the Pence Amendment was enacted by Congress in 2007. “The Broadcaster Freedom Amendment would have easily passed the House.
“Every time freedom gets a vote on the floor of the People’s House, freedom always wins. Tonight, freedom lost.
“However, I am still confident that broadcast freedom will ultimately prevail and we will send the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ to the ash heap of broadcast history. Thanks to the overwhelming encouragement of thousands of Americans voicing their support for the Walden-Pence amendment, as well as the consistency and vigilance of colleagues like Greg Walden, Jeb Hensarling and Jeff Flake, I am certain that it is only a matter of time before the specter of government censorship of the airwaves is dismantled forever.”
NOTE: Democrat Members of the Rules Committee who are cosponsors of the Broadcaster Freedom Act are Congressman Michael Arcuri (NY) and Congressman Jared Polis (CO). Democrat Members of the Rules Committee who previously voted for the Pence Amendment in 2007 were Congressman Dennis Cardoza (CA), Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO) and Congressman Alcee Hastings (FL).