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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2009
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Ann Marie Cumming
202-429-5307
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Democrats to House Leadership: No Floor Vote on Performance Tax

--Local Radio Freedom Act Gains Two More Cosponsors, House Opposition Stands at 246--

WASHINGTON, DC -- A group of 22 House Democrats sent a letter late Friday to House leadership, urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues to refrain from moving performance tax legislation to the floor for a vote. The legislation, sought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), would require local radio stations to pay an additional fee for music aired free to listeners. While the RIAA-backed bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in a contentious 21-9 vote earlier this summer, a bipartisan group of 246 House lawmakers are on record in opposition to the legislation.

In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, the 22 Democratic lawmakers wrote, "At this time, Congress lacks adequate information on the overall impact that this legislation could have on local radio broadcasters and the potential disadvantages to our local communities that depend on radio to create jobs and bring residents their local news, emergency information, weather, and information on the activities of their elected governments."

"We are further concerned by the assertions that this bill will unfairly divert money from our local communities and direct those funds primarily to large record labels," the lawmakers continued. "Accordingly, we urge you to refrain from moving H.R. 848 to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives until such time as the impact of this legislation can be fully examined."

Many of those signing Friday's letter are members of the influential Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats, including Reps. Heath Shuler (NC-11), Mike Ross (AR-4), Charlie Melancon (LA-3), and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD). The letter is available in PDF format here.

LOCAL RADIO FREEDOM ACT GAINS MORE SUPPORT

Meanwhile, Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) have both added their support to the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bipartisan resolution opposing the record label-led effort to levy a performance tax on local radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act is now supported by a bipartisan group of 246 House members and 23 U.S. Senators.

The Local Radio Freedom Act, 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 by 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 Local Radio Freedom Act's 246 House cosponsors are:

Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
John Adler (NJ-3)
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)
Shelley Berkley (NV-1)
Marion Berry (AR-1)
Judy Biggert (IL-13)
Brian Bilbray (CA-50)
Gus Bilirakis(FL-9)
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)
Robert Brady (PA-1)
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)
Vern Buchanan (FL-13)
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)
Anh "Joseph" Cao (LA-2)
Mike Capuano (MA-8)
Russ Carnahan (MO-3)
Christopher Carney (PA-10)
Andre Carson (IN-7)
John Carter (TX-31)
Bill Cassidy (LA-6)
Michael Castle (DE-AL)
Ben Chandler (KY-6)
William Lacy Clay (MO-1)
Mike Coffman (CO-6)
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)
Elijah Cummings (MD-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)
Steve Driehaus (OH-1)
John Duncan (TN-2)
Chet Edwards (TX-17)
Vernon Ehlers (MI-3)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-8)
Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8)
Bob Etheridge (NC-2)
Mary Fallin (OK-5)
Chaka Fattah (PA-2)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Bill Foster (IL-14)
Virginia Foxx (NC-5)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
Scott Garrett (NJ-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)
Gregg Harper (MS-3)
Alcee Hastings (FL-23)
Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Dean Heller (NV-2)
Wally Herger (CA-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)
Bob Inglis (SC-4)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Timothy Johnson (IL-15)
Walter Jones (NC-3)
Jim Jordan (OH-4)
Steve Kagen (WI-8)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)
Dale Kildee (MI-5)
Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15)
Ron Kind (WI-3)
Jack Kingston (GA-1)
Mark Kirk (IL-10)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1)
Larry Kissell (NC-8)
John Kline (MN-2)
Frank Kratovil (MD-1)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Leonard Lance (NJ-7)
Rick Larsen (WA-2)
Tom Latham (IA-4)
Steve LaTourette (OH-14)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
Jerry Lewis (CA-41)
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)
Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)
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)
Howard McKeon (CA-25)
Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-5)
Kendrick Meek (FL-17)
Charlie Melancon (LA-3)
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)
Alan Mollohan (WV-1)
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)
David Price (NC-4)
Tom Price (GA-6)
Adam Putnam (FL-12)
George Radanovich (CA-19)
Nick Rahall (WV-3)
Charles Rangel (NY-15)
Dennis Rehberg (MT-AL)
Dave Reichert (WA-8)
Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
Phil Roe (TN-1)
Harold Rogers (KY-5)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Mike Rogers (MI-8)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Mike Ross (AR-4)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)
Edward Royce (CA-40)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
Bobby Rush (IL-1)
Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Tim Ryan (OH-17)
John Sarbanes (MD-3)
Steve Scalise (LA-1)
Jean Schmidt (OH-2)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
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)
Albio Sires (NJ-13)
Ike Skelton (MO-4)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Christopher Smith (NJ-4)
Zack Space (OH-18)
Mark Souder (IN-3)
John Spratt (SC-5)
Cliff Stearns (FL-6)
Bart Stupak (MI-1)
John Sullivan (OK-1)
Harry Teague (NM-2)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Mike Thompson (CA-1)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
"Mac" Thornberry (TX-13)
Todd Tiahrt (KS-4)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Dina Titus (NV-3)
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)
Frank Wolf (VA-10)
Don Young (AK-At Large)

The Local Radio Freedom Act's 23 Senate cosponsors are:

John Barrasso (WY)
Max Baucus (MT)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Christopher Bond (MO)
Sam Brownback (KS)
Richard Burr (NC)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Susan Collins (ME)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Michael Enzi (WY)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Kay Hagan (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Mike Johanns (NE)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Joseph Lieberman (CT)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Benjamin Nelson (NE)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Jon Tester (MT)
David Vitter (LA)
Roger Wicker (MS)

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television 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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