There is important progress being made in Congress to keep the troubling Fairness Doctrine from being reenacted. We're gaining ground, but the battle is not over.
As you know, 218 members of the House must sign on to a Discharge Petition to clear the way for the Broadcaster Freedom Act - a measure that would prohibit the return of the Fairness Doctrine - to get to the House floor for an up-or-down vote.
This important measure has been bottled up in Committee for a long time. Not long ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed her support for the return of the Fairness Doctrine and her desire to see the Discharge Petition fail.
Here's the good news. We are gaining ground. Another member of Congress has signed the Discharge Petition - Rep. Robert Wittman of Virginia - becomes the 197th member of the House to sign on - leaving just 21 signatures needed to reach the 218 mark that is required to force a vote on the legislation.
While we are seeing progress, you should know there is still a tremendous challenge ahead. The fact is that the 113 Democrats in the House who voted for a one-year moratorium on the return of the Fairness Doctrine have yet to sign on to the Discharge Petition. Not one.
What's also troubling is the fact that two of the cosponsors of the Broadcaster Freedom Act have yet to sign on to the Discharge Petition. Rep. John Yarmuth (KY) and Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) clearly supported the measure by cosponsoring it - but have not taken the appropriate steps (signing the Discharge Petition) to get this measure before the House floor for a vote. In fact, Rep. Yarmuth told one of his constituents in June: "Please be assured I will support efforts to move the bill through Committee to the House Floor for a vote." What is he waiting for? The time to act is now.
Our legislative affairs team will continue to work to ensure that Congressmen Yarmuth follows through on his promise to get the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the House floor for a vote. And our team will continue to communicate with other members of Congress - working toward securing the support needed for this floor vote.
But time is running out. Congress will be in recess for the month of August and that leaves little time to act. When they return in September they are likely to be in session for a few short weeks before they adjourn again for the November election.
We are not giving up. In fact, we'll bring you more news about this fight next week as we accelerate our efforts to get the Discharge Petition approved so members of Congress can vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act.
We will bring you more details on how you can help next week.
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