Cantwell's push for Low Power FM heats up in final days of Congress


FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: The House of Representatives has just passed a revised version of the LPFM bill--suggesting that a final compromise may have been reached. Stay tuned!

Congress could be very close to passing a bill allowing for thousands of new, non-commercial Low Power FM radio stations. Championed in the Senate by Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Local Community Radio Act was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year, and enjoys extremely broad bipartisan support. However, last-minute intransigence from the National Association of Broadcasters is holding up the bill's chances of passing as Congress wraps up its business for the year.

Community radio activists across the country have been working diligently for years to pass this bill. On Monday, leading group the Prometheus Radio Project organized a hula-hoop protest outside the NAB's DC headquarters telling the industry lobby to "stop making LPFM jump through hoops." In the final days of Congress, the end game is shaping up to be a battle of wills pitting Senator Cantwell against the NAB, which is orchestrating a small group of Republican Senators to place secret holds on the bill.

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