Legislation supports rural and farming communities that rely on AM Radio
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and her Democratic and Republican colleagues introduced the AM for Every Vehicle Act, bicameral legislation that would direct federal regulators to require automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their new vehicles at no additional charge. The legislation comes as many major automakers are removing AM radio from their new vehicles.
“Wisconsinites, particularly those living in our rural and farming communities, rely on AM radio in emergencies, to provide them with their high-quality local news, and to lift up the voices of local businesses, organizations, and people,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to go to bat for the Americans who want and need AM radio to do their jobs, stay safe, and support their local communities.”
Specifically, the AM for Every Vehicle Act would:
This legislation is led by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), and is cosponsored by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and JD Vance (R-OH). In the House, the legislation is led by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Tom Kean, Jr. (R-NJ-07), Rob Menendez (D-NJ-08), Bruce Westerman (R-AR-04), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03).
The AM for Every Vehicle Act is endorsed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.
“There is a clear public safety imperative here. Having AM radio available in our cars means we always have access to emergency alerts and key warnings while we are out on the road. Updating transportation should not mean sacrificing access to what can be life-saving information,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. “We stand ready to provide any necessary support and expertise to the Department of Transportation and Government Accountability Office as they may need.”
“As I mentioned in my speech to the NAFB last November, ‘[t]he Commission should not be shy about asking auto manufacturers to serve the public interest by continuing to serve AM radio listeners[.]’ And, as I indicated in my statement earlier this year supporting former FEMA heads in their letter to the Department of Transportation regarding AM radio in vehicles, ‘I believe that the FCC should make clear the vital importance of AM radio. . . . The public safety community and the American public rely on AM radio. Auto manufacturers now, and increasingly in the future will, rely on spectrum. Care should be taken to weigh the velocity of innovations against the stability of institutions. The Commission can, and must, play a role in striking that balance.’ I welcome any effort from Congress to secure the future of AM radio for the enduring benefit of the American people, and I invite my colleagues on the Commission and across the whole of government to raise their voices in support of this vital mission,” said Nathan Simington, Commissioner of the FCC.
“NAB commends Senators Markey, Cruz, Baldwin, Fischer, Luján, and Vance, and Representatives Gottheimer, Westerman, Kean, Menendez and Gluesenkamp Perez, for their leadership in advocating for AM radio listeners. This legislation ensures that the tens of millions of Americans who depend on AM radio for news, entertainment and critical safety information each month can continue to have access to this reliable communications medium. As the backbone of the Emergency Alert System, AM radio is instrumental in promptly disseminating vital information across all mediums during crises, ensuring that communities remain safe and well-informed. America’s local broadcasters applaud the bill’s authors and supporters for recognizing AM’s critical role in our nation’s public safety infrastructure,” said Curtis LeGeyt, President and CEO of National Association of Broadcasters.