Lawmakers Unveil Proposal to Preserve AM Radio in All Automobiles

NRB | May 18, 2023 | Advocacy News

Radio broadcasters’ current top priority in Washington is the fight to keep AM radio in the dash as eight of the top twenty automakers have moved to eliminate broadcast AM radio from new electric vehicles.

On May 17, a proposal to preserve AM radio in all automobiles was introduced in the House (H.R.3413) and Senate (S.1669), with support from lawmakers across the political and geographical spectrum.

The “AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act” is led by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Deb Fischer (R-N.E.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Tom Kean Jr. (R-N.J.), Rob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Rob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) in the House.

“Not only does AM radio benefit listeners across America as an accessible platform for news, information, and Christian content, but AM radio is time-tested and resilient in times of emergency,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “We commend these lawmakers for standing with local broadcasters and developing a proposal to secure the future of AM radio in all automobiles.”

In summary, this legislation would:

  • Require the Secretary of Transportation, within one year of enactment, to issue a rule under which motor vehicles made or imported into the US would be required to include an installed device, as standard equipment, that can receive AM radio (including analog) signals and play AM content;
  • Ensure that AM is conspicuous to the driver in the dash;
  • In the period between enactment and prior to the Secretary of Transportation issuing the new rule, require motor vehicles that do not include AM radio to be labeled as such to consumers in a clear and conspicuous manner; and
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on whether an alternative communication system for delivering EAS alerts exists that is as reliable and resilient as AM broadcast stations.

NRB is a historic champion of AM radio, counting 123 AM stations as NRB members plus hundreds more AM stations affiliated with NRB member organizations. NRB’s policy team will monitor and report on the progress of these bills in both the House and Senate and work toward their passage, ensuring lawmakers understand AM radio’s impact on religious listeners across the country.

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