By Asya McDonald
Congressman Buddy Carter from Georgia’s 1st District made a video to show his support for Senate bill HR 3413 and S1669.
HR 3413, the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, is a bipartisan call to action for the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring access to AM broadcast stations as standard equipment in motor vehicles manufactured, imported, and shipped interstate in the United States.
Buddy Carter address AM radio in the car
Last week in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee Communication and Technology hearing Carter challenged Scott Schmidt, vice president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, who was the acting representative for the auto industry about his statements for alternatives to AM broadcast in electric vehicles.
The district that Carter oversees is mostly on the coast of Georgia, which has been impacted heavily over the past few years by severe weather, like hurricanes. 23% of Carter’s constituents are active listeners of AM broadcasts and rely on broadcasters to tell them what is happening in their communities. Carter has emphasized his support for this bill because in times of crisis due to severe weather, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that is broadcasted on AM radio has been crucial to keeping his district members safe.
“In south Georgia you know access to AM radio is important to us and very good. You know natural disasters like hurricanes are traumatic and oftentimes there are no other means of getting alerts other than the AM radio,” said Carter.
Homeland Security Branch Commander for New Jersey State Police Lt. Colonel Christopher DeMaise spoke during the hearing firmly advocating the need for an AM broadcast and sharing similar sentiments as Carter about AM broadcast’s usefulness in disaster.
“We want to make sure that those survivors have the most critical up-to-date information possible. New Jersey through the emergency management assistance compact has assisted Georgia and providing generators in the past helped support power,” said DeMaise.
Many other Congress members have voiced support for the bill citing the similar benefits of AM broadcast for their district members.
Congressman Tony Cárdenas from California’s 29th District, spoke about the importance of AM broadcasts for underserved ethnic communities in his district.
“Nielsen media research reported that 97% of Latinos over the age of 18 listen to the radio in some form every month. This phenomenon is not unique only to the Latino community,” said Cárdenas.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from Michigan’s 6th District, was another supporter to challenge the current message from the auto industry and the urgent need to keep AM broadcast.
“It currently serves as the backbone of our nation’s emergency alert system providing an important backstop in times of need and has proven its continued reliabilities other networks fail,” said Dingell.
Congressman Gus Bilirakis from Florida’s 12th District, showed his support by speaking plainly about his constituents and how they get their information.
“People are used to AM radio, that’s where they get their news,” said Bilirakis.