(Part of my occasional series of posts highlighting Congressional votes where the Massachusetts delegation was interestingly split, or where Massachusetts stood out from the crowd – or, in this case, both.)
Last week, the US House passed S.193, the “Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act”, increasing FCC penalties for “indecency” on the air.
“If […] such violator is determined by the FCC to have broadcast obscene, indecent, or profane language, the amount of forfeiture penalty shall not exceed $325,000 for each violation or day of such violation, to a maximum of $3 million for any single act or failure to act.”
The vote in the house was a lopsided 379-35. The 35 nay voters includes some of the House’s most prominent progressives, such as Bernie Sanders (who made Vermont the only state with no yes votes), Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, Jim McDermott, and John Conyers. Among those 35 were three from our state:
- Barney Frank (MA-4)
- William Delahunt (MA-10)
- John Olver (MA-1)
Massachusetts stands out with a 30% nay vote on this attempt to enforce morality. Aside from Vermont (1 nay) and Nevada (split 1 vote for and 1 against), the only other state with a significant nay vote was California, where 12 members voted against this censorship measure – that’s 24% of their delegation, 26% of those who voted on this bill.
Only one Republican joined 33 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders to oppose this bill: Libertarian Ron Paul of Texas.