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U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Passes the PIRATE Act


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has unanimously passed the PIRATE Act. The move follows a letter sent last week from broadcaster associations in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer urging the Senate to pass the Act, which would provide the FCC with new enforcement tools to combat illegal pirate radio operations. The PIRATE Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and unanimously passed the House in February.

Under the Act, any person operating a pirate radio station will be subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 per day of operations and not more than $2 million in total. Additionally, the FCC will be required to assign appropriate enforcement personal to focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate radio broadcasting.

In a statement, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB thanks the Senate Commerce Committee for unanimously passing the PIRATE Act. The bill would better equip the FCC to combat pirate radio operations that interfere with legal broadcasts and pose a threat to air traffic control communications. We appreciate the leadership of Sens. Daines and Peters on this issue and strongly urge Senate passage of the PIRATE Act."

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