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Cross-Ownership Reversal: The House

Now that the Senate voted to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's loosening of the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) is ready to push his companion bill in the House, or alternately simply adopt the Senate resolution if it will speed it to a floor vote and passage.

Inslee introduced his resolution -- essentially identical to the Senate resolution spearheaded by Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) -- in March and was letting the Senate take the lead. Now, according to Inslee's legislative director, Nick Shipley, Inslee will likely talk with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House leadership next week about the fastest way to get the bill passed, which would likely be to bring the Senate version immediately to the House floor for a vote.

There have already been staff-level discussions with the Speaker’s office on how to proceed, but no talks since Thursday night's passage of the Senate resolution, according to Shipley.

Going straight to the floor with the Senate bill would mean bypassing a vote in the House Telecommunications Subcommittee and full Commerce Committee, but Shipley said they have been keeping the chairmen of both committees apprised of their plans. It would be an unusual move, but not as unusual with a vote on an identical Senate bill, he added.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.