House Approves Stiffer Indecency Fines

WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved higher fines for broadcast indecency, sending the issue on to the Senate for a second consecutive year.

The 389-38 vote approved a bill that would raise the maximum fine for broadcast indecency to $500,000, up from the current ceiling of $32,500.

Each house of Congress passed bills last year to raise indecency fines, but no final legislation emerged amid differences between the chambers over media ownership regulations.

A pending Senate bill would raise fines tenfold, to $325,000. There was no immediate indication when the Senate might consider the measure, or take up the House’s bill. If differing measures are passed, the chambers would attempt to reconcile their differences before sending a bill to the president for his signature.