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Walden: Put Fairness Doctrine to Rest for Good

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Walden: Put Fairness Doctrine to Rest for Good

Walden, with Congressman Pence, begins petition to bring Broadcaster Freedom Act straight to the floor for a vote to prevent the re-institution of the Fairness Doctrine

Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today issued the following statement after beginning a petition drive to bring the Broadcaster Freedom Act, H.R. 2905, directly to the floor. The Broadcaster Freedom Act would permanently prevent the Federal Communications Commission from re-instituting the so-called Fairness Doctrine.


"This morning we began a drive to bring an up-or-down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the floor of the House. We need 218 signatures to bring the bill to the floor, and fully anticipate each Republican member to sign the petition since they are all cosponsors of the bill.

"That means we need just a handful of Democrats to sign on to reach the 218-member threshold. In June, 113 Democrats voted for an amendment to an appropriations bill to prohibit the FCC from enforcing the Fairness Doctrine for one year.

"Unfortunately, that bill has yet to reach the President's desk, as the Democrat-controlled Congress has yet to agree on a single appropriations bill. And with some prominent Democrats suggesting a return to the Fairness Doctrine has merit, the need to preserve the rights of broadcasters to engage in stimulating speech has never been more urgent. Without an act of Congress, a shift in the White House could very well be the first step toward a bureaucratic fiat that banishes the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken from the airwaves.

"The Fairness Doctrine existed in a media landscape much different than the one we inhabit today. When the Fairness Doctrine was first enforced in 1949, only 2,881 radio stations existed. Today, that number is just under 14,000. Likewise, the number of television and Internet outlets available to the consumer has grown exponentially. The scarcity argument has never been weaker.

"It is high time that the so-called Fairness Doctrine be put to rest for good. Only an act of Congress can make that happen, and only with 218 signatures can we bring an up-or-down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the floor."

Congressman Greg Walden represents the Oregon's Second Congressional District, which is comprised of 20 counties in eastern, southern, and central Oregon. He is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

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