Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act Passes the House
Amelia Wigton
June 7, 2006

After months of hard work from involved citizens, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is celebrating the passage of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 (S. 193) in the House of Representatives. 


This is a huge victory for moms, dads, kids and “regular” people everywhere who took the time and made the effort to take grassroots action.

“The passage of S. 193 truly validates the efforts of all concerned citizens who have ever called their representative in Congress and felt that their voice was not being heard. Individuals who call to express support for legislation that they care about do make a huge difference,” said Lanier Swann, CWA’s Director of Government Relations.

“This is a pivotal victory for families around the country, and we are thrilled! Broadcasters operate in the public square, and the public pushed for the passage of this bill to say that they are serious about decency standards and expect broadcasters to uphold those standards.”

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) proposed S. 193 more than one year ago.  It passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on May 18 after Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) worked with key members on both sides of the aisle. 


After the bold steps of Senate leaders, key players in the House of Representatives decided to pursue passing S. 193 in its entirety.  Now the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act is ready to be signed into law by President Bush. 


S. 193 is an important tool to help prevent decency violations on broadcast television.  Currently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the ability to fine violators a meager $32,500 – a slap on the wrist for large corporations.  With the passage of S. 193, fines will increase tenfold to a painful $325,000, which should make broadcasters think twice before airing material already deemed inappropriate for the public square.


“Now, the FCC has real power to impede the broadcasters’ race to the bottom,” concluded Swann. “The American people have taken back their public airwaves through the passage of S. 193, and we applaud them for that.”


Sleazy entertainment like Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” pushed the envelope one step too far.  The American people have spoken and Congress has taken a solid step in the right direction.  Congress must become still more responsive to the needs of America’s families and CWA looks forward to even greater reforms.


CWA expresses appreciation to Congress for passing the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act and eagerly awaits the President’s signature on it.  Thank you to all who worked so hard to pass it!