Sens. Cruz, Markey Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Coalition on New Bill to Keep AM Radio in Vehicles
May 18, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today led a coalition of their Senate and House colleagues in introducing the AM for Every Vehicle Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would direct federal regulators to require automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their new vehicles at no additional charge.
Upon introduction of the legislation, Sen. Cruz said:
“Each day, millions of Americans turn to AM radio to stay up to date on life in their community, engage on the issues they care about, or to be simply entertained during rush hour. AM radio is a critical bulwark for democracy, providing a platform for alternative viewpoints and the ability for elected officials to share our efforts with our constituents. Congress should act swiftly to pass this bill so Americans retain access to news, music, talk, and emergency alerts on the public airwaves. I’m glad to work with Senator Markey on this bipartisan legislation to ensure carmakers do not limit Texans’ access to radio in their vehicles.”
Sen. Markey added:
“For decades, free AM broadcast radio has been an essential tool in emergencies, a crucial part of our diverse media ecosystem, and an irreplaceable source for news, weather, sports, and entertainment for tens of millions of listeners. Carmakers shouldn’t tune out AM radio in new vehicles or put it behind a costly digital paywall. I am proud to introduce the ‘AM for Every Vehicle Act’ to ensure that this resilient and popular communication tool does not become a relic of the past.”
Joining Sens. Cruz and Markey are Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and JD Vance (R-Ohio), members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Tom Kean, Jr. (NJ-07), Rob Menendez (NJ-08), Bruce Westerman (AR-04), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03).
The AM for Every Vehicle Act would:
- Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge;
- Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA regulation to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio; and
- Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.
The full text of this legislation is available HERE.