White House threatens veto of FCC rollback

As the Senate prepares to vote on a resolution rolling back the FCC's unpopular loosening of media ownership rules, the Bush Administration threatens a veto.

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

S. J. Res. 28 Disapproving the Rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to Broadcast Media Ownership
(Sen. Dorgan (D) North Dakota and 27 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of S. J. Res. 28, a resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with respect to broadcast media ownership. The FCC rule, which is the product of years of study and extensive public comment and consultation, modestly and judiciously modernizes decades-old media ownership regulations that highly restrict cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations. As a result of technological advances that have led to a dramatic and permanent transformation of the media marketplace in which citizens now have access to a multitude of additional sources of information, these outdated restrictions are not necessary. The new rule more accurately reflects this changing media landscape by taking into account the abundance of news and information outlets that exist today, and furthers the public interest by providing greater financial flexibility to newspaper and broadcast outlets struggling to survive in today's intensely competitive media environment. In addition to reducing the prior rule's excessive regulation of well-functioning markets, the new FCC rule includes substantial constraints to guard against excessive concentration.

The Administration supported this FCC action and strongly opposes any attempt to overturn this rule by legislative means. To disapprove this rule and require the Federal government to reassert regulatory constraints on business decisions in a competitive media marketplace would exacerbate financial challenges facing newspapers and broadcast stations and thus not be in the public interest. Accordingly, if S.J. Res. 28 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

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