There’s lots of unfinished business for broadcasters in Washington as the new year begins, from pending legislation in Congress to proposed rulemakings at the Federal Communications Commission. In the latest installment of Inside Radio‘s Radio Outlook 2024 series, we look at the top regulatory issues facing the industry this year.
Priority One: AM Radio
There is no bigger issue for the radio industry right now than pushing Congress to pass a bill that would direct the Department of Transportation to issue a rule requiring that AM broadcast stations be accessible in all passenger motor vehicles manufactured in, imported into, or shipped within the U.S. The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (S. 1669) is pending on the Senate floor. Yet without 60 votes lined up, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is unlikely to even bring it up for a vote. But supporters like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) are expected to try to attach the bill to a piece of must-pass legislation. Yet there remains bipartisan skepticism in the House where some lawmakers have said they are uneasy with such a mandate that favors one industry over another. Supporters think if the Senate passes the bill, it could give them the momentum they need in the House.