SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS SUBMITTED TO THE RULES COMMITTEE ON H.R. 3717 - BROADCAST DECENCY ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2004

Summary of Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee on
H.R. 3717 - BROADCAST DECENCY ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2004

RULE TO PROVIDE FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3717, AND AMENDMENTS MADE IN ORDER

(in alphabetical order)

Baca #4
Provides that the Surgeon General commission a report to assess the short and long-term health implications of violent media content on children's and adolescents' behavior, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and overall physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development.

Hinchey #2
Suspends broadcast media ownership rules adopted by the FCC on June 2, 2003, pending a study by the General Accounting Office that examines the relationship between the horizontal and vertical consolidation of media companies and the number of complaints and violations of the indecency prohibitions contained in the statutes, regulations, and policies enforced by the FCC. Provides that GAO shall submit the report one year after the date of enactment of the Act. Provides that the broadcast ownership rules in effect on June 1, 2003 will be reinstated until 30 days after the GAO submits its report.

Schakowsky #3
Provides that the provision in the bill that would increase the fines from $11,000 to $500,000 shall not apply to individuals. (Revised)

Sessions #8
Directs the GAO to study and report back within one year: the number of complaints concerning the broadcasting of obscene, indecent, and profane material to the Federal Communications Commission; the number of such complaints that result in final agency actions by the Commission; the length of time taken by the Commission in responding to such complaints; what mechanisms the Commission has established to receive, investigate, and respond to such complaints; and whether complainants to the Commission are adequately informed by the Commission of the responses to their complaints. (Late)

Stupak #6
Requires GAO to study the possible link between increasing number of complaints on indecency to the FCC and increasing media consolidation in recent years.

Stupak #7
Provides two-year moratorium on broadcast ownership caps that were adjusted by the FCC's 2003 ruling and the FY2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Rolls back ownership cap to original 35% while the GAO conducts study on the possible link between the increasing number of indecency complaints to the FCC and the increasing media consolidation in recent years.

Upton #5
Manager's Amendment. Ensures that the bill preserves the right of a licensee to appeal a forfeiture order issued by the FCC for the broadcast of obscene, indecent, or profane material before the existence of such an order can be used in a license application or assignment proceeding to determine a licensee's character or qualifications, in a license renewal proceeding to determine whether a serious violation has occurred, or in a license revocation proceeding initiated after a licensee has accumulated three or more such forfeiture orders during the term of a license. Additionally, the amendment requires the FCC to provide Congress with information related to the number of times that violators refuse to pay a forfeiture order and that the FCC refers such orders for collection.

Watson #1
Prohibits any FCC commissioner or employee from accepting payments or reimbursement for travel, subsistence, or related expenses from non-governmental sponsors in connection with attendance at any convention, conference, or meeting.

* Summaries derived from information submitted by the amendment sponsors.