Sam Brownback on Technology
Republican Sr Senator (KS)
Cut the Advanced Technology Program; it’s corporate welfare
Q: So name one program you would cut.
A: Advanced Technology Program would be a good one to start with. It goes towards high-end spending, corporate welfare programs. There’s an abundance of those.
That’s why you got to change the system, so that it regularly requires a vote of Congress on things to cut. That’s what’ll actually reduce spending.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan
, Oct 9, 2007
No Fairness Doctrine: no equal time if morally objectionable
Q: As a Christian radio talk-show host, I don’t want to be forced to broadcast morally objectionable material or give equal time to opponents of our faith. Would you veto any legislation that contains language of the so called “Fairness Doctrine?”
HUNTER: The liberals want to be able to cut into every conservative talk show [because they can’t get people to] turn on the dial.
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate
, Sep 17, 2007
- HUCKABEE: Yes.
- TANCREDO: Yes.
- COX: Yes.
- BROWNBACK: Yes.
- PAUL: Yes.
- HUNTER: Yes.
- KEYES: Yes.
Apply broadcast indecency rules to cable networks
Q: Currently the broadcast indecency rules only apply to local broadcast stations. Do you support and believe that broadcast indecency rules should be expanded to cable networks as well?
Source: [Xref Paul] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate
, Sep 17, 2007
- HUCKABEE: Yes.
- TANCREDO: Yes.
- COX: Yes.
- BROWNBACK: Yes.
- PAUL: No.
- HUNTER: Yes.
- KEYES: Yes.
Pushed FTC study of inappropriateness of kids’ music
Empower America [a social action group Brownback admired] has done some great work on cultural issues such as song lyrics and the impact of popular culture on young people. Empower America was dealing with that from a conservative perspective, which was
not so much legislative as talking to the culture and saying, “Look what we’re doing.”
Everyone knew what was going on. The public knew it, and the industry was profiting from the violent, sexual material they were producing.
We finally came up with two approaches that worked. One was getting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct a study as to whether or not the entertainment industry was target marketing children with products they had rated as inappropriate
for children of that age. In other words, were PG-13 movies being target marketed to 10-year-old boys? Or were violent video games rated “M” for “mature” being marketed to teenage boys?
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.104-107
, Jul 3, 2007
Internet porn destroys the minds and souls of many
[The pornography issue] is helping us to build a Left-Right coalition to fight for stronger laws and better enforcement, here and abroad. The Left increasingly and certainly the Right see that pornography takes a very dark view of women, treating them as
sexual property, and a libertarian view of such things can only lead to even greater tragedies and worse forms of exploitation.
Parents are justifiably concerned for children who are exposed to the worst kinds of pornography on the
Internet, and there’s almost no way to prevent them from stumbling onto those Web sites by accident.
It’s important that we find ways to block these images so that children aren’t exposed to salacious materials in this way.
It’s just as important that we counsel our kids if we find that they’ve been exposed to it. Pornography exploits both men and women in the most vulgar ways. It treats them as meat, to be bought and sold and manipulated. That in itself is offensive.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.123-125
, Jul 3, 2007
Network neutrality represents the heavy hand of regulation
The Club for Growth supports more sensible government regulation, and less government regulation overall, as a critical step toward increasing freedom and growth in the marketplace. Sen. Brownback has often demonstrated his respect for the
self-regulation of the marketplace and his general aversion to burdensome regulatory measures. These votes include:
Source: Club for Growth, “Second Presidential White Paper”
, Feb 2, 2007
- Voted against legislation that would have prohibited media conglomerates from owning more television stations (Roll
Call #348, 09/16/03)
- Circulated a letter with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) opposing legislation to regulate broadband companies, writing, “Opposing the heavy hand of regulation that network neutrality represents is critical if we are to maintain the
Internet as an open, evolving, and market-based tool” (Brownback press release, 05/17/06)
- He has also supported the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Brownback press release, 10/27/03).
$90M grant for Children and Media Research
One of the roles that government is uniquely capable of playing is providing parents with research on the pop culture industry. I am a strong advocate of federal investment in research regarding the impact on media content on children in particular.
I stood with Sens. Brownback, Lieberman and Clinton to introduce a $90 million federal grant program to support research into the effects of viewing and using all types of media--including
TV, computer games, and the Internet--on children's physical and psychological development, The Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA)
Act would establish research into the role of media on the development of children from infancy through adolescence.
There have been thousands of studies investigating the impact of media violence on kids, but little in the area of sexually explicit me
Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 341-342
, Apr 30, 2006
Popular culture eats away at civic virtue and democracy
The entertainment culture has grown in power and pervasiveness. The biggest reason more of are “bowling alone”--detached from other people and organizations--is that television and other forms of electronic entertainment have supplanted human interaction
and affiliations. Certainly, there are positive and edifying programs, games, and songs, but much of the popular culture became popular not by aiming to uplift, but by appealing to the darker side of human nature.
Indeed, much of popular culture is
parasitic, eating away at the civic virtues necessary to sustain democratic freedoms. At the very time when self-restraint is so needed, the purveyors of our popular culture send a markedly different message: that liberty is license, and that if not
exercised to its maximum--no matter how offensive or distasteful that is--it is in danger of being lost. Ironically, in their bid to ‘celebrate’ freedom, they undermine it, by destroying the moral underpinnings of democratic governance and citizenship.
Source: Building a Healthy Culture, Don Eberly, ed., p. xii-xiii
, Jun 3, 2001
Voted NO on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.
Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act;
Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495
; vote number 2007-406
on Nov 8, 2007
Voted NO on restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007.
An amendment to provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. Voting YEA would increase Amtrak funding from $900 million to $1.45 billion. Voting NAY would keep Amtrak funding at $900 million.
Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
- [In my state], Philadelphia's 30th Street station is the second busiest train station nationally, with over 3.7 million boarding a year. And 3,000 people are employed by Amtrak in Pennsylvania. Amtrak and the health of Amtrak is important.
- Last year the Senate transportation bill had $1.45 billion for Amtrak, which is obviously more than the $900 million in the current budget proposal. I am offering an amendment to increase that funding from the $900 million which is in the bill right now to the $1.45 billion level and adding $550 million.
- I support funding through the section 920 account [without a tax increase]. We have seen that without raising the cap or without raising taxes, the Senate has been able to
come up with a robust number for Amtrak which I will support within the context of a responsible budget.
- We have spent less money on Amtrak in the last 35 years than we will on highways in this year alone. And highways don't pay for themselves, even with the gas tax. Neither does mass transit, either in this country or anywhere else in the world. But we subsidize them because they improve the quality of our lives.
- We have never provided the kind of commitment to Amtrak that we have for other modes of transportation, and this amendment will be an important step to getting Amtrak off the starvation budgets that it has subsisted on for far too long.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
Reference: Santorum amendment to Transportation funding bill;
Bill S.Amdt.3015 to S.Con.Res.83
; vote number 2006-052
on Mar 15, 2006
- The problem with that is there is no money in the section 920 account. If we want to talk about "funny money" financing, that is it--taking money from an account that has no money. This whole budget takes money we don't have. The result is we keep running up the debt.
Voted NO on disallowing FCC approval of larger media conglomerates.
Vote to pass a joint resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission. The rule would therefore have no force or effect. The rule in question deals with broadcast media ownership and would allow media conglomerates to own more television stations and newspapers.
Reference: FCC Media Ownership bill;
Bill S J Res 17/H.J.RES.72
; vote number 2003-348
on Sep 16, 2003
Voted YES on Internet sales tax moratorium.
Vote against allowing states to require companies who do business in their state solely by phone, mail, or the Internet to collect state sales taxes. [Current law does not require companies to collect sales taxes where the customer is out of state]
; vote number 1998-296
on Oct 2, 1998
Promote internet via Congressional Internet Caucus.
Brownback is a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus:
Founded in the spring of 1996, the Congressional Internet Caucus is a bipartisan group of over 150 members of the House and Senate working to educate their colleagues about the promise and potential of the Internet. The Caucus also encourages Members to utilize the Internet in communications with constituents and supports efforts to put more government documents online. The Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the Internet Education Foundation host regular events and forums for policymakers, the press, and the public to discuss important Internet-related policy issues.
Membership in the Congressional Internet Caucus is open to any Member of Congress who pledges support for the following goals:
Source: Congressional Internet Caucus web site, NetCaucus.org 01-CIC1 on Jan 1, 2001
- Promoting growth and advancement of the Internet
- Providing a bicameral, bipartisan forum for Internet concerns to be raised
- Promoting the education of Members of Congress and their staffs about the Internet
- Promoting commerce and free flow of information on the Internet
- Advancing the United States' world leadership in the digital world
- Maximizing the openness of and participation in government by the people.
Permanent ban on state & local taxation of Internet access.
Brownback co-sponsored permanently banning state & local taxation of Internet access
Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007 - Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Related bills: H.R.743, H.R.1077, H.R.3678, S.156.
Source: Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (S.2128) 07-S2128 on Oct 2, 2007
Prohibit the return of the Fairness Doctrine.
Brownback signed Broadcaster Freedom Act
A bill to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from repromulgating the fairness doctrine. Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), notwithstanding any other provision of any Act, from having the authority to require broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance, commonly referred to as the Fairness Doctrine.
Source: S.34&H.R.226 2009-S34 on Jan 6, 2009
No performance royalties for radio music.
Brownback signed Local Radio Freedom Act
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act
Source: SCR.14&HCR.49 2009-SCR14 on Mar 30, 2009
- Whereas the US enjoys broadcasting and sound recording industries that are the envy of the world, due to the symbiotic relationship that has existed among these industries for many decades;
- Whereas for more than 80 years, Congress has rejected repeated calls by the recording industry to impose a performance fee on local radio stations for simply playing music on the radio;
- Whereas local radio stations provide free publicity and promotion to the recording industry and performers of music in the form of radio air play, interviews with performers, introduction of new performers, and concert promotions;
Whereas Congress found that 'the sale of many sound recordings and the careers of many performers benefited considerably from airplay and other over-the-air broadcasting;
- Whereas there are many thousands of local radio stations that will suffer severe economic hardship if any new performance fee is imposed, as will many other small businesses that play music including bars, restaurants, shopping centers and transportation facilities;
- Resolved: That Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings.
Page last updated: Feb 02, 2016