By an overwhelming margin, the U.S. House of Representative today approved a bill that would raise indecency fines from their current $27,500 maximum to $500,000. The vote on Rep. Fred Upton's Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 was 391-22.
In addition to raising the maximum fine for station licensees, HR 3717 also jacks up the maximum fine for a performer from $11,000 to $500,000.
In a memo to lawmakers today, the Bush administration strongly endorsed the bill.
Similar legislation in the Senate isn't expected to sail through as easily, due to controversial amendments added during the markup process. One amendment would try to curb violence on TV, while another seeks to put a hold on the new FCC ownership rules until the government studies what affect consolidation has had on indecency.