Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, the effort to bring real decency standards to our airwaves is taking a major step forward this week. A couple of weeks ago, the Senate passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act ending months of inaction by that body on the issue, and the House had passed its own version earlier last year.
While there are differences between the two bills, they both send a clear message: If you violate decency standards over broadcast airwaves, you will pay a price, a big price. Under current law, fines are limited to $32,500 per violation. The bill we will vote on today gives the FCC real teeth to enforce decency standards by increasing fines to 10 times that amount. Broadcasters will think twice about airing obscene material if they know it will cost them more than a quarter million dollars to do so.
Mr. Speaker, common decency is under attack in our society. The airwaves often lead the charge. Broadcast decency legislation seeks to do something about that. I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for acting on the issue, urge the Members to vote for the bill, send it to the President for his signature, and once again, enforce broadcast decency laws in our country.