House Speaker Pelosi aligns with Conyers behind PRA


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made her first public announcement regarding the Performance Rights Act, and came down firmly on the side of the recording industry. She made her remarks at a lobbying event held by the Recording Academy.

According to inside-the-Beltway blog Hillicon Valley, Pelosi told those gathered at a “Grammy on the Hill” event, “The rights of performers are not forgotten. You have an army of advocates by your side — from both parties — on Capitol Hill.”

Broadcasters can argue that they have a bigger army of supporters – from both parties – in the House, where about 260 have signed onto the Local Radio Freedom Act.

But the support of the powerful Pelosi for PRA, pushed through the House Judiciary Committee by John Conyers (D-MI), opens the possibility of legislative maneuvering, such as attaching the bill to unrelated must-pass legislation.

LRFA co-sponsors Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) are said to be at work already to counter Pelosi. They are circulating a “dear colleague” letter detailing reasons to oppose PRA and preserve the vitality of local radio broadcasting.

RBR-TVBR observation: Although Pelosi’s San Francisco is hardly ground zero for the recording industry, Los Angeles is, so it’s not all that surprising that she would join many of her California colleagues – prominently including Darrell Issa (R-CA) — in supporting the bill. But surprising or not, it certainly complicates matters. Broadcasters have been working hard to derail this bill — it’s time to ratchet up efforts even higher.