An impressively bipartisan group of US Representatives, including 63 Republicans and 56 Democrats, has made overtures to their respective party leaders asking that the Performance Rights Act remains estranged from the floor. The Democrats sent their letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and the Republicans to Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).
The letters are essentially the same, except for the signatures. They ask that H.R. 848 The Performance Rights Act be kept off the floor, being considered neither as a standalone bill nor as an add-on to some other measure.
They point out that the measure creates the possibility of further loss of employment in the radio industry, which employs over 100K individuals. It comes at a time when all radio companies are facing difficult times and many are in or are seeking bankruptcy protection.
Further, they note that the “primary beneficiaries of the potentially billions of dollars generated under this legislation are the major record labels.” The Reps then note that three of the four are “owned by international entities on foreign shores.”
“Congress should not be enriching one industry at the expense of another,” they argued, “particularly when it could put thousands of American radio jobs at risk, harm local radio stations and hurt our communities who rely on radio for news, weather and emergency alert information.”
They also mention the 254 House Members who have signed on to the Local Radio Freedom Act in opposition to PRA. That number has since risen to 260.
RBR-TVBR observation: The difficulty in finding common ground between the parties on any issue at all these days makes the strong bipartisan nature of the joint effort to defeat PRA all the more impressive. The two House leaders should jump at this if for no other reason than to show that they can in fact come to a common sense non-partisan resolution to an issue every once in awhile.