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Public Statements

Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


BROADCAST DECENCY ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - February 16, 2005)

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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Upton) for moving this important legislation so early in the session.

This is not a new issue. But parents have been pleading with us to take action on this for years.

Mr. Speaker, studies show that children are impacted by what they watch on television. A study last year released by Rand shows that children pick up sexual attitudes and behaviors from television programs, and we know that children are very impressionable; and to allow broadcasters to circumvent the role of parents in teaching their children right from wrong when it comes to sexuality, violence, and profanity is wrong; and not to act is to do just that.

Our decency laws are based on our view that society is partly responsible for making sure public airwaves are filled with safe material, and programs depicting profanity, sexuality, and violence influence how kids act and see the world; and that is why we have adopted decency standards that have withstood legal challenge and the test of time.

This bill updates the penalties for violating those standards. For too long government has allowed broadcasters to profit from the use of public airwaves with little or no public accountability. We have in effect abandoned American families in doing that. H.R. 310 sends a clear message to the entertainment industry that we are no longer going to idly stand by and force our parents to put up with this unacceptable programming. H.R. 310 reaffirms our commitment to ensure safe programming for children.

Mr. Speaker, families are tired of worrying about what their children may hear and see every time they turn on television. They are frustrated that the media industry has seemingly been able to broadcast any type of behavior or speech that they feel will bring in advertising dollars. Meanwhile, they feel that the Federal Government has sided with the media elites and turned a blind eye to the concerns of ordinary moms and dads. So finally Congress has heard. We are acting for American families. We are not going to stand idly by on this topic.

I urge support for the bill.

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