ATR Applauds House Passage of Pence Amendment Guaranteeing Free Speech
Amendment forbids any money being spent on enforcing “Fairness Doctrine”

Washington, DC– Americans for Tax Reform congratulates and thanks the House of Representatives for passing an important amendment offered by Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) guaranteeing First Amendment rights will continue on the radio dial.

The amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations bill will forbid any monies appropriated to the Federal Communications Commission from being spent on enforcing the out-dated and censoring regulation called the Fairness Doctrine.

“This is a great week for freedom of speech.  First, the weakening of the McCain-Feingold law that limited political speech, and now the de-funding of the Fairness Doctrine,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.  “By permanently de-funding this wrongheaded, unconstitutional and pro-censorship regulation, the House has moved several steps in the direction of the freedom today.”

Despite recent prominent Democrat calls for such regulation of speech, the amendment was accepted by the Democrat Majority without objection.  However Congressman Pence asked for a roll call vote to get every Member’s stance on freedom on the record.  The amendment ultimately passed 309 – 115.

“The roll call vote allows the public to see which Members of the House will defend the First Amendment and which will not,” Norquist continued. “The results were far lower than one would expect from a group sworn to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.’”