Archive of the US Senate.

Anti-Censorship Bill

President Pro Tempore: The Senate will come to order to debate the Anti-Censorship Bill of 1979. First, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Wilson, will be given the floor, followed by a call for co-sponsors, and then open debate.

Senator Wilson (R-OH): Good morning my fellow Senators. Today, I've introduced to you a landmark bill that will change how we deal with potentially obscene content forever. A couple of years ago, the FCC received a complaint that a child had heard George Carlin's "7 Words You Can't Say on TV" routine. This content was considered to be highly offensive, leading to the decision that the FCC may regulate any content deemed potentially offensive for children. I reject this decision, and have proposed a decision of my own that will solve the problem, without sacrificing content for viewers. It is my personal belief that the head of the households, whether it be parents, grandparents, relatives, etc. be the ones who make the decisions about what they consider to be offensive content. I believe that this works, because "offensive" is a highly subjective word that doesn't mean the same thing for everyone. One person might consider gratuitous profanity offensive, while others might barely bat an eye. Point is, by giving control to the guardians, they can stop their children from seeing what they deem offensive, without affecting quality entertainment. The 1st Amendment states we have the right to freedom of speech, and this is no different. The entertainment is intact and parents are happy. Therefore, everyone is and that's why you should support the "Anti-Censorship Bill".

President Pro Tempore: I will now entertain debate and motions to be added by unanimous consent as a co-sponsor to this bill. In order for this bill to be voted upon, after rigorous debate, a motion for cloture must be made and seconded, followed by a 60% super majority vote of aye.

Senator Stevens (R-VA): I support this bill as a means to limit unnecessary government regulation and to allow all people the freedom to make their own decisions about their children and to have access to all information. I also believe that this bill protects the freedom of speech of those who are currently being censored. The freedom of speech includes the freedom to be heard, as if it did not include the freedom to be heard, it would be merely the freedom of thought. Therefore, I support this bill, and would like to be added by unanimous consent as a co-sponsor.

Senator Pastore (R-CT): I support this bill, for the expansion of liberty it proposes. What is shown in television is as just as much speech as a live conversation, and you don't see any government officials censoring conversations. If a household refuse to view a program, it should simply, by themselves, turn off the television or change the channel, not request the government, already full of tasks to fulfill, to stop the program. Just like the vote, if the majority of the people don't watch a program, the channel will change it. The use of democracy for changing problems is better than requesting an authoritarian department to act. I support this bill, and would like to be added by unanimous consent as co-sponsor.

Senator Windsor (D-NY): I will vote for this bill, to enable the freedom of the US Citizen in line with our hallowed constitution. However, I do believe the bill should be amended to prohibit pornography except via designated channels of media, and time slot guidelines for some forms of media should be adopted. These are only guidelines, but will ensure parents are confident that the content their child receives is appropriate, without restricting the rights of US citizens. Age classifications should also be put in place.

Senator McKay (D-MI): I support this bill. It allows the first amendment to be fully realized.

Senator Vogler (I-AK): I will support this bill. It's not the government's job to protect you from material you may find offensive. The passage of this bill will only make heads of households more responsible for what they are to do. It also protects the nature of the constitution, a living document that we hold ever-so dearly to our hearts. If you don't want something, simply don't get it.

Senator Wilson (R-OH): I now move for cloture.

President Pro Tempore: Motion for cloture is recognized. Senators, please vote Aye or Nay.

Senator Pastore (R-CT): I vote Aye.

Senator Stevens (R-VA): Aye

Senator Wilson: (R-OH): Aye

Senator McKay (D-MI): Aye

Senator Vogler (I-AK): Aye

Senator Jackson: Aye

President Pro Tempore: Cloture having been reached by a 3/5 majority, we will now move into final voting procedures. Senators, please indicate Aye or Nay.

Senator Wilson (R-OH): Aye

Senator Stevens (R-VA): Aye

Senator Vogler (I-AK): Aye

Senator Pastore (R-CT): Aye

Senator McKay (D-MI): Aye

Senator Windsor (D-NY): Aye

Senator Reynolds (D-WA): Aye

President Pro Tempore: By an overwhelming majority, this bill has passed the Senate of the United States of America. Congratulations to the bill's sponsor are in order. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives for their vote.

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