RBR-TVBR Observation: All quiet on Capitol Hill


There are always issues of interest to broadcasters percolating away on Capitol Hill. Lately, a number of them have been aired out in public, including discussions of the fate of funding for public broadcasting and the intrusion of mobile broadband into television air space. But we suspect not much will happen between now and the end of the month.

That’s because Congress goes on a two-week hiatus that extends from 4/18/11 all the way to 4/29/11.
The two bodies of Congress don’t agree about very much these days, with the Senate in Democratic hands and the House in Republican hands.

And they don’t agree on exactly it is they are doing during this period. Those workaholics in the Senate are keeping their nose to the grindstone during a “state work period.”

Meanwhile, those joyriding glad-handers in the House flat out admit they are taking a “spring recess.”

What we know for sure is that for two weeks, at least, nobody is going to request an emergency vote on the “Grab 20 Channels of TV Spectrum Act of 2011” or the “Why Stop at Performers? Engineer, Roadie and Groupie Royalty Act of 2011” or the “Restore the 12 Radio Station National Ownership Cap Act of 2011” or the “Establishment of Fines for Indecent Stand-in Words Like Heck, Shucks and Darn Act of 2011” or the “Local Public Panel Radio Playlist Creation Act of 2011” of the “TV Six Hours of Daily Local News plus Six Hours of Children’s Educational Programming Act of 2011.”

For two weeks, we will be relying almost completely on the FCC for the generation of broadcaster puzzlement, consternation and/or outrage.

Of course, that won’t stop legislators from possibly saying something puzzling, concerning or outrageous while they’re in the field, so we’ll keep our eyes and ears open.