President Bush has signed into law the legislation to raise broadcast indecency fines to $325,000 per violation, up from $32,500. The new law also caps any continuing violations from an incident at $3 million, says Reuters. President Bush had vowed to sign the bill a week ago, saying, "I believe that government has a responsibility to help strengthen families. This legislation will make television and radio more family friendly by allowing the FCC to impose stiffer fines on broadcasters who air obscene or indecent programming."
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) spokesman Dennis Wharton responded to the new law by saying, "In issues related to programming content, NAB believes responsible self-regulation is preferable to government regulation. If there is regulation, it should be applied equally to cable and satellite TV, and satellite radio."
The new law could help congressional Republicans woo back conservatives in a tough election year as they have faced decreasing support, notes Reuters. The Christian Coalition had placed legislation to increase indecency fines as the No. 5 item on its 2006 legislative agenda.