Late word out of the office of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is that his Resolution of Disapproval, otherwise known as S.J. Res. 28, been approved by the full Senate Floor after passing unanimously out of the Commerce Committee late last month. The bill would remove the effect from the FCC 12/18/07 rulemaking legalizing certain broadcast/newspaper cross-owned media combinations in the top 20 DMAs. Some are also worried that a waiver process will be abused to allow such combinations anywhere, even though FCC Chairman said a presumption against such approval presented a sufficiently high hurdle. Dorgan currently has 27 co-sponsors, including three from across the aisle: Ted Stevens (R-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME). Also on board are the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL). Republican presumptive nominee John McCain (R-AZ) opposed Dorgan the last time he put a version of the Resolution before the Senate in favor of legislative fixes then pending in the Commerce Committee. McCain was chair of Commerce at that time, but after clearing the Committee, McCain’s media package went nowhere.
RBR/TVBR observation: We expect this will make it through the House too. But it faces the prospects of a presidential veto on the recommendation of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.