House Passes Bill to Raise Indecency Fines
By a 389-38 vote, the U.S. House passed a bill that raises the amount the FCC can fine a broadcaster for indecency violations to $500,000 per incident. The current maximum is $32,500.
Other provisions in the measure, sponsored by Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) include revoking a license after three violations of indecency rules and allowing individuals such as on-air talent to be fined under certain circumstances.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) noted the increased amount "makes broadcasters sit up and take notice." Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said parents, not the government, are in the best position to control what their children see and hear.
In a statement, the White House indicated its support for the measure, which now goes to the Senate, which has its own version of legislation to raise indecency fines. Its bill would raise the maximum for an indecency violation to $325,000.