D-Day: Dorgan gets his vote today


The Senate Commerce Committee has a full slate of items to consider during today’s mark-up session. It will look at protecting consumers of seafood, weigh in on bus accessibility, look into maritime pollution, and consider an FAA nominee, among other things. Oh, among those other things: The Byron Dorgan (D-ND) smackdown of the FCC’s modest cross-ownership liberalization of last December.

A companion to Dorgan’s measure is active in the House under the sponsorship of Jay Inslee (D-WA). The first time Dorgan attempted the maneuver, described this time as "a joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to broadcast media ownership," he achieved passage in the Senate only to see it stall in the House, as then Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) never let it see the light of day.

Both Hastert and DeLay are gone, but Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has already recommended a veto should the measure make it to the desk of President Bush.

Also on the agenda is the DTV Border Fix Act, designed to give flexibility to stations along the boundaries with Mexico and Canada when it comes to implementing the DTV conversion.