House Cmte Votes to Block FCC Changes; Senators Introduce Congressional Veto
With a 40-25 vote, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would keep the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from implementing its recent decision to repeal media ownership rules and grant large corporations greater control of the media.
Specifically, the bill would keep the FCC from spending money to relax ownership limits on television stations - which would allow a single company to own TV stations that reach 45 percent of households in the US. Sponsored by David R. Obey (D-WI), the bill would effectively restore the previous limit of 35 percent, which was set in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, according to Congressional Quarterly Today.
With opposition from the House leadership and the White House, the bill faces considerable obstacles. However, public outcry against the issue has only grown - just 10 percent of those polled said that allowing companies to own more broadcast and newspaper operations in the same city would have a positive effect, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "We are hopeful that Congress is finally prepared to do what the FCC has refused to do," Gene Kimmelman, director of the Consumers Union, a leading group advocating against media consolidation, told CBS Market Watch.
Meanwhile, 35 Senators introduced a congressional veto of the new FCC rules - that would change the media ownership cap to allow a single company to own TV stations that reach 45 percent of households in the US; and would rewrite two existing "cross-ownership" rules to lift current restrictions that keep companies from owning a newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same market. The veto will next be considered by the full Senate. In addition, a Senate committee approved a version of the House bill last month.
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .