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Thursday Vote Scheduled for AM Radio Bill in Senate Commerce Committee

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene the full committee on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at 10 a.m. ET to consider S. 1669 the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2023.

This is a major step forward for the legislation. Passing the Senate Commerce Committee is the first step in obtaining full Senate approval. If it passes the Committee, the next step will be to secure time on the Senate floor for a full vote. Of course, the House of Representatives must move a companion bill, H.R. 3413 for the legislation to become law.

This is a bipartisan effort. As of today, 23 Senators from both parties have endorsed the bill. The Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D WA) and the Ranking Republican on the Committee Ted Cruz (D TX) support the bill. The House bill, HR 3413, has 129 co-sponsors. While she is not on the Commerce Committee, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has agreed to co-sponsor the bill. Majority Leader Schumer has also expressed his support.

The legislation requires the Secretary of Transportation, through the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), to adopt regulations within one year requiring automakers to include AM radios in all vehicles. Specifically, the legislation requires:

  • Every vehicle manufactured, imported, or sold in the United States to have a receiver that can receive and play the content of AM radio stations.

  • AM receivers to be standard equipment in all cars.

  • There can be no fee or charge for including the AM radio in the vehicle.

  • AM radio to be placed in the dashboard that is conspicuous to the driver.

  • Automobiles sold without AM radios before the rules go into effect must have a label stating that the car does not contain an AM radio.

In addition, the legislation requires the GAO to conduct a study regarding the costs associated with providing emergency alerts to automobiles on other alerting systems.

We will update you as the process moves forward.

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