Commerce Committee Priorities Included in Year-End Spending Bill

December 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following statement after the Senate passed a year-end spending agreement. The bill includes the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR), the NASA Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act, and the Brand USA Extension Act:

“This year-end spending agreement includes Commerce Committee priorities that will benefit all Americans,” said Wicker. “One of the most important provisions of the agreement is the extension of STELAR so hundreds of thousands of Americans will not lose access to broadcast programming. NASA centers will continue to support local investment opportunities by renting underutilized properties. And partnership incentives will be extended to promote the tourism industry in Mississippi and across the U.S.”

Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization

  • Permanently extends the requirement that cable television providers and television broadcasters negotiate retransmission consent in good faith.
  • Establishes new billing disclosure requirements for providers of video services to protect consumers from surprise charges on their cable bills.
  • Authorizes satellite television companies that provide local-into-local service in all 210 designated market areas by May 31, 2020 to continue use of the Section 119 compulsory copyright license. This will offer broadcast programming to long-haul truckers, recreational vehicle enthusiasts, and short markets or areas that lack one of the four major broadcast stations.

Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act

  • Extends by two years Enhanced Use Leasing authority for National Aeronautics and Space Administration Centers to lease non-excess underutilized property to industry, state/local government, and academic partners and use the proceeds for capital improvement projects.

Brand USA Extension Act

  • Extends funding for Brand USA, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting international travel to the United States, at zero cost to U.S. taxpayers. 

The three bills included in the spending bill fall under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee.