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Rep. Pitts joins bipartisan majority in vote to clean up public airwaves

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Pitts joins bipartisan majority in vote to clean up public airwaves
Legislation ups fines; leaves standards untouched
February 16, 2005

Washington - Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) today voted for H.R. 310, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005. The bill updates America 's law that governs the broadcast of indecent material over public airwaves. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly by a vote of 389 to 38.

"It is about time that we act on broadcast indecency," said Congressman Pitts' on the House floor this afternoon. "This bill returns dignity to the public airwaves. It severely punishes broadcasters who thumb their nose at the law and America 's families. Our decency laws are based on our view that society is partly responsible for making sure public airwaves are filled with safe material.

"Programs depicting profanity, sexuality, and violence influence how kids act and see the world. That's why we have adopted decency standards that have withstood legal challenge and the test of time.

"H.R. 310 sends a clear message to the entertainment industry we are no longer going to idly stand by and force our parents to put up with this filth. Families are sick and tired of worrying about what their children may hear or see every time they turn on the 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 media elites and turned a blind eye to the concerns of ordinary moms and dads," said Congressman Pitts.

Currently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is permitted to impose fines of up to $32,500 against broadcasters. This plan increases the amount of fines the FCC can impose to $500,000 for every airing of "obscene, indecent or profane material. It does not change the standards or definitions of indecency that have been established in law and upheld in federal courts.

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