Friday, July 17, 2009

Free speech plan booted by House committee

'The last thing we want is a government takeover of the airwaves' By Bob Unruh Posted: July 15, 2009 11:40 pm Eastern © 2009 WorldNetDaily Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)An amendment proposed to the Financial Services Appropriation Bill that would have protected free speech by preventing the Federal Communications Commission from restoring the so-called Fairness Doctrine regulations to U.S. airwaves has been rejected by members of a U.S. House committee. "Unfortunately, Democrats on the Rules Committee decided that the freedom of speech, though enshrined in the Constitution, is not a right they were willing to afford their colleagues in the House," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who along with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., sponsored the plan. "I am profoundly disappointed," Pence said. The Rules Committee voted 8-4 along party lines to reject the amendment that would have halted any proposals by the FCC that would restore the Fairness Doctrine, which was abandoned in 1987 under President Reagan. Pence explained in a website statement that the First Amendment "is not a partisan issue; the preservation of constitutional freedoms should be the paramount duty of every elected representative and should take precedence over partisan gamesmanship or heavy-handedness." He said what made the decision by majority Democrats both disappointing and baffling was that more than 300 members of the House already have expressed support for broadcast freedom. "Today, the interests of the American people and the interests of this august institution were not served," Pence said. "Every time a vote concerning the freedom of a people, abroad or here at home, has come to the floor of the People's House, freedom has always won; yet tonight freedom was blocked from getting even a chance to be voted on." [CONTINUE READING]
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