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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2009
CONTACT
Ann Marie Cumming
202-429-5307
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NAB Statement on Today's House Judiciary Committee Vote

WASHINGTON, DC -- Despite pleas from local radio stations, listeners, and civil rights leaders, the House Judiciary Committee today passed a bill by a vote of 21 to 9 that would levy a new fee on local radio stations for music aired free to listeners. If enacted, 50 percent of the new fee would go directly into the coffers of the major record label companies, three out of four of which reside outside the United States.

Voting against the RIAA-backed tax were House Judiciary Committee Members Maxine Waters (CA-35), Lamar Smith (TX-21), Howard Coble (NC-6), Dan Lungren (CA-3), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Jim Jordan (OH-4), Ted Poe (TX-2), Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) and Gregg Harper (MS-3).

Outside the Judiciary Committee, a bipartisan group of 192 House lawmakers are already on record in opposition to the legislation, which is being pushed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Commenting on today's Committee action, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:

"We were pleasantly surprised by the considerable bipartisan opposition to a performance tax, even in a committee where support for the record labels is strongest. NAB applauds these nine members for standing with America's hometown radio stations, their 235 million weekly listeners, and the yet-to-break artists who will lose their number one promotional platform if this bill is enacted.

"Nearly half the House of Representatives already opposes RIAA efforts to feather the nest of foreign record labels. Record label abuse of artists from Count Basie to Prince is well-documented, as evidenced by scores of lawsuits filed by musicians cheated out of royalties. Moving forward, the fundamental question is this: If the debate is about 'fairness to artists', why should the record labels get one penny from a performance tax on radio stations?"

The Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 49), unveiled at a February Capitol Hill event hosted by the Free Radio Alliance, was introduced by Reps. Gene Green (TX-29) and Mike Conaway (TX-11). In March, an identical resolution was introduced in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 14) by Sens. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and John Barrasso (WY).

"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads The Local Radio Freedom Act.

The bipartisan House resolution now has 192 cosponsors, including:

Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
Rob Andrews (NJ-1)
Todd Akin (MO-2)
Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
Jason Altmire (PA-4)
Mike Arcuri (NY-24)
Steve Austria (OH-7)
Michele Bachmann (MN-6)
Spencer Bachus (AL-6)
Gresham Barrett (SC-3)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6)
Melissa Bean (IL-8)
Marion Berry (AR-1)
Judy Biggert (IL-13)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Roy Blunt (MO-7)
Jo Bonner (AL-1)
John Boozman (AR-3)
Dan Boren (OK-2)
Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
Charles Boustany (LA-7)
Allen Boyd (FL-2)
Kevin Brady (TX-8)
Bruce Braley (IA-1)
Bobby Bright (AL-2)
Paul Broun (GA-10)
Corrine Brown (FL-3)
Henry Brown (SC-1)
Ginny Brown-Waite (FL-5)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Dan Burton (IN-5)
Steve Buyer (IN-4)
John Campbell (CA-48)
Shelly Moore Capito (WV-2)
Ken Calvert (CA-44)
Mike Capuano (MA-8)
Russ Carnahan (MO-3)
Andre Carson (IN-7)
John Carter (TX-31)
Ben Chandler (KY-6)
William Lacy Clay (MO-1)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Mike Conaway (TX-11)
Jerry Costello (IL-12)
Joseph Courtney (CT-2)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Culberson (TX-7)
Artur Davis (AL-7)
Danny Davis (IL-7)
Geoff Davis (KY-4)
Lincoln Davis (TN-4)
Charles Dent (PA-15)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
Norm Dicks (WA-6)
Joe Donnelly (IN-2)
John Duncan (TN-2)
Chet Edwards (TX-17)
Vernon Ehlers (MI-3)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-8)
Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8)
Mary Fallin (OK-5)
Chaka Fattah (PA-2)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Virginia Foxx (NC-5)
Elton Gallegly (CA-24)
Jim Gerlach (PA-6)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Kay Granger (TX-12)
Sam Graves (MO-6)
Al Green (TX-9)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Parker Griffith (AL-5)
Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
Ralph Hall (TX-4)
Deborah Halvorson (IL-11)
Phil Hare (IL-17)
Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Dean Heller (NV-2)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL)
Baron Hill (IN-9)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Pete Hoekstra (MI-2)
Tim Holden (PA-17)
Duncan Hunter (CA-52)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Timothy Johnson (IL-15)
Walter Jones (NC-3)
Jim Jordan (OH-4)
Steve Kagen (WI-8)
Jack Kingston (GA-1)
Larry Kissell (NC-8)
John Kline (MN-2)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Rick Larsen (WA-2)
Steve LaTourette (OH-14)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
John Lewis (GA-5)
John Linder (GA-7)
Chris Lee (NY-26)
Frank Lucas (OK-3)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2)
Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Don Manzullo (IL-16)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Betsy Markey (CO-4)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
Michael McCaul (TX-10)
Tom McClintock (CA-4)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
John McHugh (NY-23)
Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-5)
Michael Michaud (ME-2)
Brad Miller (NC-13)
Candice Miller (MI-10)
Gary Miller (CA-42)
Jeff Miller (FL-1)
Walt Minnick (ID-1)
Harry Mitchell (AZ-5)
Dennis Moore (KS-3)
Jerry Moran (KS-1)
Sue Myrick (NC-9)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Devin Nunes (CA-21)
James Oberstar (MN-8)
Pete Olson (TX-22)
Solomon Ortiz (TX-27)
Frank Pallone (NJ-6)
Erik Paulson (MN-3)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
Ron Paul (TX-14)
Mike Pence (IN-6)
Tom Perriello (VA-5)
Tom Petri (WI-6)
Pedro Pierluisi (PR-At Large)
Joe Pitts (PA-16)
Todd Platts (PA-19)
Ted Poe (TX-2)
Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL)
Bill Posey (FL-15)
Tom Price (GA-6)
Nick Rahall (WV-3)
Charles Rangel (NY-15)
Dennis Rehberg (MT-AL)
Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
Harold Rogers (KY-5)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Mike Rogers (MI-8)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Mike Ross (AR-4)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Tim Ryan (OH-17)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
David Scott (GA-13)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
John Shimkus (IL-19)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
Heath Shuler (NC-11)
Bill Shuster (PA-9)
Mike Simpson (ID-2)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Zack Space (OH-18)
Mark Souder (IN-3)
John Spratt (SC-5)
Cliff Stearns (FL-6)
Bart Stupak (MI-1)
John Sullivan (OK-1)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Mike Thompson (CA-1)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
"Mac" Thornberry (TX-13)
Todd Tiahrt (KS-4)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Mike Turner (OH-3)
Fred Upton (MI-6)
Peter Visclosky (IN-1)
Greg Walden (OR-2)
Timothy Walz (MN-1)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Ed Whitfield (KY-1)
Charlie Wilson (OH-6)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)
Rob Wittman (VA-1)
Don Young (AK-At Large)

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. As the voice of more than 8,300 radio and television stations, NAB advances their interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.

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