U.S. House unanimously passes Greg Walden's bill to preserve rural satellite television service
U.S. House unanimously passes Greg Walden’s bill to preserve rural satellite television service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today has, for the second time, unanimously passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELA), a bill authored by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) to ensure that satellite subscribers in remote areas do not lose access to local programming. Although a previous version of this bill was passed in the House in July, this version (H.R. 5728) represents a compromise with the Senate.
“If we do not act to extend these provisions by the end of this Congress, 1.5 million subscribers to satellite television, including many in Oregon, will not have access to broadcast network programming come New Year’s Day,” Walden said during debate on the bill.
“This bill represents the best of how Congress works when it works together. Today’s version of STELAR is a compromise bill that incorporates the provisions passed unanimously by the House earlier this year, with the provisions that passed by voice vote out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. By coming together to produce legislation with strong bipartisan, bicameral support we have demonstrated our clear commitment to the continued availability of broadcast programming to millions of subscribers and to some targeted and, in some cases, much needed reforms to our communications laws,” Walden continued.
As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Walden worked to write a reauthorization of the satellite law that would receive the support of both parties and all sectors of the communications industry. Walden introduced the bill along with full Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
The provisions included in this bill must be renewed by December 31, 2014, to ensure that consumers don’t lose access to satellite programming. To read the legislation, please click here.